Markazhi
bhagavathiyattam

BHAGAVATHIYATTAM

bhagavathiyattam in pottammel pooram
bhagavathiyattam in pottammel pooram

 

It is a rare unique performing ritualistic art form of Bhagavathy or local dieties presented by Paraya community in the western parts of Palakkad district. Most of the primitive Goddesses of the village are known as Bhagavathy. Bhagavathy worship is a united form of Saraswathy,Lakshmi and Sri Durga.

As a living cult with thousands of year old tradition, in Bhagavathiyattam the performer represents the local deity of the temple or kavu usually run by Paraya homestead.If there are two main deities in the temple,there will be two performers for Bhagavathiyattam.

bhagavathiyattam before pattupanthal
bhagavathiyattam before pattupanthal

Pattupanthal

A temporary shed is erected in the compound of the temple usually in the temple courtyard.  Fresh, green plaited compound leafs of coconut tree are arranged on the frame work of wooden stumps to form the Pattupanthal. Multicolumned ‘kalams’(intricate designs) are laid inside the pattupanthal and thottams are rendered endlessly though blood offering is seen inside Pattupanthal, it is not practiced inside kavu

costumes: pettakam perank thalasheela and mukkoottam
costumes: pettakam perank thalasheela and mukkoottam

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Costumes

1.Thalasseela-the divine head cloth of the performer.

2.The head gears known as ‘pettakam’ and ‘peranku’-it is made by carpenters.Peranku is made of brass and designed by brassiers .

3.Mukkuttam-special decoration on face made of brass or bronze plates.

chettiyakam, breast place  brass breast kaithamara and vanchi.
chettiyakam, breast place brass breast kaithamara and vanchi.

4.Chettyakam-exaggerated ear decoration

5.Breast plates

6.Brass breasts

7.Kaithamara-arm decoration made of brass.

8.Vanchi-is the festoon like long laces on the wrist(kaivanchi) where vanchi is fitted on the arm we call that thol vanchi(shoulder decoration).

Vanchi is made of the bark of a tree locally called Vanchi) .

 The important ceremonies

1.Thalasseelayital -laying the auspicious head cloth on the head of the  performer.

bhagavathiyaattam peedam ceremony
peedam ceremony

2.Peeda ceremony-the performer draws figures as the ‘peedam’ or wooden stool with carved legs-the rashi or the position of auspicious planet is conceived.

bhagavathiyattam in progress in pottamel bhagavathi temple
bhagavathiyattam in progress in pottamel bhagavathi temple

3.After removing theThalasseela the performer who represents shouts aloud the oracle and assures to guard the Thattakam from all evil forces.

Thottams are rendered before the performance Bhagavathiyattam spring to momentum in tune with the vibrant rhythms of ‘Chenda’(traditional drum).

The performer is morphed into the local diety and the worshipers remain spell bound in reverence. At last when the Bhagavathy assures to guard the Thattakam from all evil forces.

 

Bhagavathiyaattam
Bhagavathiyaattam
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Markazhi

There is always something left behind…a twig, fragments of a bangle, a seed, a blossom on the hedges enrolled in the red list.

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