Seethakali Folk Art

Seethakali Folk Art

News: The Perinad Seethakali Sangham, a group of artists from diverse backgrounds, revived the fading Seethakali folk art form in 2017.

About:
• Seethakali is a traditional folk-dance drama from Kerala, India, that depicts scenes from the Ramayana, the epic story of Rama and Sita.
• It is mainly performed by Dalit artists from the Veda and Pulaya communities during the Onam festival.
• Seethakali combines songs, storytelling, and energetic movements, and uses instruments such as ganjira, manikatta, chiratta, and kaimani.
• Seethakali’s story is conveyed through songs, with 28 collected over three years, featuring a folk style influenced by Vallappaattu, Kuthirappaattu, and Rakshasappattu.
• Seethakali songs were orally transmitted from one generation to the next, which led to a pause in the tradition.
• The performance includes key characters such as Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Ravan, and Hanuman.

Revival efforts:
• Documentary - Shajimon created a documentary titled Seethakali – Desinganadinte Dalit Ramayanam, tracing the evolution, popularity, and relevance of the art form.
• Currently, in Kerala, there is only one registered Seethakali performing group – Perinad Seethakali Sangham.

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