• Image 1 of 11

Theyyam - Gods on Earth Series

Uday Khambadkone | India

Villagers gather to see the Theyyam festival ritual in Kananghad, Kerala, India.

Theyyam – A thousand year old ritualistic festival celebrated in the northern part of Kerala, India. Unlike other festivals in India where idols are worshipped, here people embody a deity and perform in front of an audience, often village people.

The word Theyyam derives from the word “Deivam”, the Sanskrit word for ‘God’. Some believe that Theyyam is a rare survival of some pre-Aryan and non-Brahminical Dravidian religious system that was later absorbed into Hinduism’s capacious embrace. Others argue that Theyyam were tolerated as an acceptable safety valve to allow complaints against the misdeeds of the feudal to be expressed in a ritualized and non-violent manner. 

Uday Khambadkone, born and raised in Mumbai, moved to the US to pursue a degree in Engineering. Though always interested in art, photography came to him accidentally through a darkroom college course in Texas. Travel has always lured Uday to various places to explore the people, culture and their customs: From exploring the Romas in Zenica, Bosnia to Catarina doll making people of Capula, Mexico, from a shelter home for cancer kids in Mumbai, India to an NGO school for mentally disabled kids in Quito,Ecuador. The lens has allowed him to break stereotypes and understand the world better.

Website:http://www.udaykhambadkone.com/singles

Instagram: @UdayKhambadkone

Mobile: +1 682-234-2805

E-Mail: UdayKPhotos@gmail.com

Theyyam �" A thousand year old ritualistic festival celebrated in the northern part of Kerala, India. Unlike other festivals in India where idols are worshipped, here people embody a deity and perform in front of an audience, often village people.

The wordTheyyamderives from the word “Deivam”, the Sanskrit word for ‘God’. Some believe thatTheyyamis a rare survival of some pre-Aryan and non-Brahminical Dravidian religious system that was later absorbed into Hinduism’s capacious embrace. Others argue that Theyyamwere tolerated as an acceptable safety valve to allow complaints against the misdeeds of the feudal to be expressed in a ritualized and non-violent manner.

Today it is social ritual of every one in the area where social norms of the people are inverted and for a short period the position and power are miraculously transferred to the insignificant and deprived. The performers of Theyyam embody the Gods by narrating stories through songs, music and dance. Villagers gather to witness, get advice on their problems and seek blessing from the Theyyam.

Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments