is a group dance performed by men to the rhythmic
music created by the beating of two sticks. The most
popular folk dance in the islands, Kolkali starts
at a low pace and becomes faster as the music gains
momentum. Each island has a number of dancing groups
is based on Kalari movements. The rhythmic
movements and steps of this dance owe much to the
martial art form of Kalari. The men hold wooden replicas
of swords and shields and move in circles or facing
each other in two rows. The leader sings songs accompanied
by a Kinnaram or cymbal. The songs relate mainly to
Islamic legends and stories of love, adventure, or
is performed by both male and female troupes.
It is a performance based on songs written about the
life of the local people. The name Attam itself means
dance. Here, it is a freestyle dance performed without
using any instruments. The dancers move forward and
backward, to their right and left, showing symbolic
gestures with their hands and legs. As the dance progresses,
they speed up their movements which end in frenzy.
is another form of dance which requires much skill
and precision. It is performed by males only.
Any slight distraction can cause disaster by way of
injury to the dancers. Constant and tough practice
is required to make one proficient in this folk dance.