Folk dances of Kerala – Kaikotti Kali, Kuttiyottama, Thiruvathira, Thirayattama, Kali Kakrisi, etc.

In front of Goddess Bhagwati Kanniyar Kali performance complete (also known as Desathukali) .

It is one of the oldest folk fast dances with a rhythmic melody.

Kaikotti Kali (also known as Thiruvathirakali) Folk Dance Kerala women dance in symmetry circles.

In Thiruvathira and Onam, dance shows are held.

Women sing the songs of Thiruvathira, which is rich in literature. They dance beautifully and clap in a circle clockwise and counterclockwise.

There are 4 people participating in the dance. Performing songs in Padappattil and Kalaripattil at the Kaus Festival. Dance involves the use of torches.

Fewer people from the Thiruvananthapuram region perform Kakarisi Kali. This dance creates great excitement among the participants.

Dapu perform Dapu kali dance. The dancers, even in number, change into 2 lines and the sides continue to change.

Kaikottikkali dance is a form of group dance in the farming community in which men and women move in a circle with sticks in their hands and join them.

Kalaripayattu is a kind of sword that moves people beautifully as if they are protecting and beating each other.

Kathakali dance involves a “story game” in which dancers wear heavy clothing and makeup. There are dances like Parihamutta Kali, Ayyappan Vilakku, Sarpam Thullal, and Purakali. Music covers most of Malayalam literature.

It is famous for its soprano music and Carnatic tunes.

Sopana means sacred steps.

Kerala is also famous for its Kathakali music.

Here is the list of Folk dances of Kerala – 

Folk dances of Kerala Contents



Kaikottikali | Dance forms of Kerala

Kaikottikali  or Thiruvathirakkali. Kaikottikali means a play with clapping of hands.

In this dance, a group of women dances in a circle, and a brass lamp is placed in the middle around which women dance in a song.

While performing this dance, the dancers wear special types of clothes, one of which is a special sari and the other is a blouse.

kasavu dhoti is worn at the dance.

This dhoti is white with a colorful border and a red and green blouse.

The blouses worn by all the dancers are similar in appearance.

Along with this, the dancer wears gold jewelry and glass bangles called kuppivala.

All dancers wear the same sari and jewelry and bangle.

All the dancers look very rhythmic and elegant.

In this dance, the lead dancer sings a song which the other dancers repeat while clapping.

Anyone can become a participant in this dance, but the condition of the dance is that no one will break the rhythm of dance and line.

All the dancers move slowly in this dance.

This dance seems very lively and eccentric to watch and the dancers step in as the song melodies.

Dancer jumping and clapping in this dance is easy and Thiruvathirakkali is quite famous for some reason.

The collection of songs performed.

These songs are mainly belonging to the marriage of Parvati, Sakuntala, Rukmini, Satyabhama, Silavati, Sita.



Mudiyett is a Kerala- based traditional ritual theater. Also, it is a folk dance drama. It tells the story of the war between the goddess Kali and a demon named Tarika.

Members of the Marar and Kurup communities perform this dance.

Dance also perform in the Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam, and Idukki districts of Kerala.

This dance originates from the Bhagwati cult.

The dance depicts Bhagwati’s victory over the demon Darika.

Use of a special type of costume in dance and special pictures are on the face.

In this dance, the dancers with unique quirks and intimacy seem quite supernatural. Their beautiful faces and dance seem to be very attractive to watch.

A special type of people performs this dance in Bhadrakali temples,

it is also Kurappanmar.

Draw a kolam is before the dance by a floral ritual than in the temple play instruments.

Kollam has the appropriate location. After that, it always starts.

The beginning of this dance depicts the evil deeds performed by the demon Darika.

Who is aware of the suffering of those evil deeds by the Narada sage Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva sends Bhadrakali to kill Darika.

The next part depicts the battle of Bhadrakali and Darika, in which the stage appears to be a battleground. This dance mainly uses Chenda and elathalam as instruments.

Sangha Kali

Sangha Kali

Sangha Kali or SastrakaliChathirakali, and Vatrakali. It is a socio-religious dance.

Performed by Nambotiri which is their favorite and popular dance.

The history of Sanghakali is very old, its origin can be traced to many Gymnasia in ancient Kerala. The dance also includes physical exercises and military training, physical feats, and fencing training at the Kudam Thallas dance in Kerala.

In this dance, combat techniques and demonstrations of the movement of weapons and artisans are shown.

Before performing this dance, a procession is taken out in which chenda, maddalam, elethalam, and gong are taken. In this dance, people wear a red scarf on the head and a red cloth on the wrist and dance together.

Many activities are performed under this dance, which includes worship, pure dance, comedy, and prayer songs. Kudameduppu is the last stage of this dance.

The skill of sword practice is displayed in this dance. Simultaneously depicting the use of other weapons as a combat exercise.


It is a dance performed mainly to celebrate domestic worship and weddings. This dance is mainly performed by women belonging to a caste called Brahmins or Pushpini.

In this dance, the woman stands on a decorated stool, in which the signs of Bhagwati are made. The women dance to a tune while playing songs and beat bronze plates.


Dappu Kali

Dappu Kali

It is a group dance performed by the Moplahs group of Malabar.

In this dance, dancers line up 10 and 20 people. In this dance, an instrument called Dappu is used which they hold in the left hand and play with the right hand. The dancers follow a particular type of step and timing while playing.



A special type of wooden stage is constructed to perform this dance. Due to the wooden stage, it is also called thattinmelkali.

This dance is performed by both men and women. To perform this dance, the dancers form a circle around which the dancers dance by colliding the sticks.

Gradually, this dance circle becomes bigger and people dance a lot and the dance moves towards its end.


Vattakkali | folk dances of Kerala

This dance is also known as chuvadukali. It is a very enchanting dance performed by the Vettuvar community by making a circle.

This dance is performed by both men and women.

To perform this dance, 12 types of steps are performed and the dancers also dance and clap.

Dancers accelerate their dance by dancing with great fun and the dance progresses towards its end.

Poykkalu Kali

This dance is mainly performed in the temple festival. It is also known as marakkalattom.

In this dance, a type of song is played.

Mata Durga and the demon perform the battle.

Which attacked them in the form of a snake or scorpion.



Kakkarissi | folk dances of Kerala

It is a famous dance in Kuravas.

Thiruvananthapuram district performs this dance.

In this dance, the dancer creates a mask on his face and makes a special sound. Which seems to be wild in view.

Along with this, para, veekan chenda is use.



Kothamoori | folk dances of Kerala

This dance is quite famous among Malavans living mainly in North Kerala.

The dancer carries the replica of this bull on his shoulder and the dancer makes a mark on his face.

wears a skirt made of coconut leaves and chenda and kinni are use.


Mother Kali impress with this dance.

Built and decorated a small temple.

Special types of instruments are used.

people dance to the sound of these instruments.

Pana piditham is part of the dance.

The village headmen worship by keeping it in middle.

In this activity, 10 to 12 people take part, and dance by holding torches in their hands.

After the dance song is sung.

which depicts the victory story of Mata Kali and the battle of demons Darika and Mata Kali.

velichapad thulla is part of dance.

Sarpam Thullal

Sarpam Thullal | folk dances of Kerala

One of the Folk dances of Kerala.

The people of the Pulluvar community perform this dance.

So, Older houses in Kerala have serpent shrines known as Kavu.

Happiness and prosperity also come with dance.

The first part of this dance draws a kolam by Pulavan made of two or more snakes into the courtyard.

In front of Kollam, A lamp is placed filled with oil, a nirapara filled with lentils and rice.

Ottam Thulal

This dance is from the 18th century.
Ottamtullal may be a group dance.
Dancers get full make-up and fancy costumes.
The dancer tells a mythology story while dancing.


Source of Folk dances of Kerala

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