Vasoorimaala Theyyam

In a trance-like state, moving and swaying rhythmically, the Vasoorimaala Theyyam had an utmost calm on his face.  Even though as a man, depicting a goddess, the Theyyam personified the essence of the Divine Feminine energy with the grace, calm, yet a power that seemed to emanate from his very being.  During the initial few minutes, the Theyyam was decorated in a much smaller headgear than most of the other Theyyams, with cheek pincers and an exquisite chin hold that stretched from one end of the face to the other.  After a few ritual poojas, the Theyyam donned a back extension made with bamboo and colourful striped cloth, at least twice its size, before starting the circumambulation of the temple and finally the whirling dance.

Legend/Story: Vasoorimaala is an incarnation of Manodhari who was the wife of Dharikasura.  It is believed that when Goddess Kali came to kill Dharikasura, Manodhari worshipped Lord Shiva to save her husband’s life.  In return for her devotion, Lord Shiva gave Manodhari sweets as a boon and asked her to throw it whoever she wants something from.  While returning back Manodhari saw Goddess Kali holding husband’s severed head in her hand and threw the sweets received as a boon on Kali.  This returned her husband to her and the Theyyam is performed to enact 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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