Kerala Tribal Dance Forms

About Kerala Tribal Dance Forms like Kaadar Nritham, Parvalli Kali, Thavala Kali, Kooran Kali, Paniyar Kali, Man Kali, Edaya Nritham, Naikar Kali, Gadhika

Kurumbar Nritham

Hill tribes of Kurumbar and Kattunayakar perform a special type of dance which is staged in connection with marriages. Before marriage, the members of the families of both the bride and bridegroom and after marriage the newly wedded couple perform this dance.

Kaanikkar Nritham

Kaanikkar Nritham is a group dance of the kanikkar tribes. The steps of the dancers perfectly synchronise with the waving of the hands and beating of drums.  


Elelakkaradi is a highly heroic group dance in which almost the whole Irular community of men, women and children participate. The dance brings out the fight of the people against the wild bears which often attack their tribal hamlets. The various stages in the fight against the wild beasts are very well presented. 
Kaadar Nritham

Kaadar Nritham is a type of tribal dance in which only women participate. It is a primitive dance of the Kaadar tribes of the forest of Kochi area. The performers arrange themselves in a semicircle holding the tip of their cloths in their hands to the level of the waist and wave it to various rhythms of the dance.

Parvalli Kali

Paravalli Kali is a mixed dance of the aboriginals of dense forest of Travancore area in which both men and women participate. They dance holding arms together, or shoulder to shoulder, linked in a backlock posture. The linked arms swing to the rhythm in a fascinating wavelike movement.

Thavala Kali

Thavalakali is a tribal dance in which a number of participants, usually boys, jump one above the other in succession, imitating the leaps of the frog.

Kooran Kali

Koorankali is another tribal dance which is similar to Mankali. One man takes the role of a wild bear with another enacting the role of hunting dog. The movements are perfectly timed to the rhythmic beats of primitive drums.

Paniyar Kali

This higly masculine dance is performed by the men folks of Panyar tribes of Wayand district. As the dance gathers momentum the circle is swiftly expanded and contracted and the dancers utter peculiar cries which gradually run up to a high pitch.  
Man Kali

Man Kali is a tribal dance depicting the Ramayana episode in which Sita is being enchanted by Maricha in the guise of a golden deer is enacted in graceful movements.

Edaya Nritham

Edaya Nritham is the dance of men and women from the tribal shepherds. As the singing is going in, one of them imitate the special sounds of shepherds driving their sheep. The dance as such consists of someone of the group crying successively to imitate the wild animals while the other members of the group adeptly bring out the terror on their faces.  
Naikar Kali

Naikar Kali is popular ritualistic dance among the tribes in Wyanad and Malappuram districts. This is performed as pooja to family deities during marriages. Naikars perform to the tunes of the instruments, the Thappu and the Kuzhal. With the jingling anklets around their legs, they dance around in clock-wise and anti-clockwise movements to the accompaniment of the instruments.


Gadhika is a ritual dance performed by Adiya tribes of Wayanad district. This dance is meant to care ailments and for having a safe delivery of child. Gadhika begins with the principal performer invoking lord Siva for his help to cure the patients. Once Lord Siva was brought down to earth and he was pleaded by the invocations of the worshippers. The other gods, goddesses were enrolled by the performance. These gods include Chamundi, Maniamma, Malankali (Siva) and Karinkali. The participants include men dressed as women whose function is to welcome the gods and goddesses arriving in response to the summons from Siva.

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