Sasthappan (Kuttichathan) Theyyam

Sasthappan, also known as Kuttichathan were two Theyyams that were dressed identically and performed the rituals, simultaneously.  Wearing elongated rectangular waist adornments, they covered their eyes with silver ornaments, with only a small hole to look through.  Their headgear consisted of two wooden flaps on either side of their cheeks.  However, it was the peacock feather-like extensions on their back, that completed their look and impressive bearing of the Theyyam they were personifying.

Legend/Story: Legend tells of a time when Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati stayed in remote hill area along with Valluvar communities.  There they had two children – Karuval and Kuttichathan.  The Namboothiri of the community was childless and Lord Shiva let him and his wife adopt Kuttichathan, as a blessing for the Namboothiri’s devotion, meditation, and prayers.  Kuttichathan, however, was extremely mischievous and one day beheaded the cows.  The adoptive parents felt that his actions were beyond their endurance and they killed him.  However, even after his death, they could hear Kuttichathan’s voice in their house.  They conducted several poojas to get rid of the disturbances.  But from the fire pit created for the pooja, they saw several forms of Kuttichathan emerging.  They erected a shrine in the place and this Theyyam performance each year honours this legend.

Author: Tanya Raj

A dreamer, a mystic and a traveller! Gallivanting through this life, I travel to understand my soul, place by place, people by people. As a constant learner, I dabble with photography, playing music, reading tarot, practicing Reiki, learning new languages, painting, and of course travelling – I feel it is this variety of life that keeps life alive and fresh. When I am not doing anything, I can be found huddled up with a book in a corner of my house, letting my imagination take flight.

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