Details shared by Ramakrishnan A, Palakkad
About kummatti kali
Kummatti Kali is a ritualistic devotional art form originated hundreds of years ago in Palakkad and currently performed in the Goddess Temples in Palakkad as a part of temple festivals. Wearing colorful masks representing the faces of mythological characters like Krishna, Rama, Siva, Narada, Darika, etc., and covering the entire body with bunches of Kummatti grass and leaves, the performers go around from house to house, dancing and collecting small gifts and money. The name of the ritual is derived from the Kummatti grass they wear and its long sticks they hold with them. The ritual dance is related to ‘Thamma’, the universal mother who walks with the help of stick. Her mask with toothless face gets more attention. A string instrument made of areca nut, called Onavillu, is used to make the dance more exciting. Themes of Kummattikali include Ramayana, Darika vadham, and stories related to Siva.
Name of Ritual/Custom
Kummatti Kali is performed during Onam festival, which falls in August/September. Kummatti Kali is also celebrated elaborately in connection with the temple festivals in most of the Goddess temples of Palakkad, which usually take place between January to June.
Kummatti Kali is performed in the Goddess temples in Palakkad in connection with the temple festivals. Pudussery Kummatti in February, Kunissery Kummatti in March, Mundur Kummatti in March, etc., are some of them.
Recommended length to visit
Do's & don'ts
Kummatti Kali is a ritual as well as entertainment, and is enjoyed by everyone, especially children.
Anybody can perform Kummatti Kali, which does not require any formal training. During Onam season Kummatti Kali is a colorful event of tourist attraction.