Our love for indigenous art forms took us to Kannur. Kannur sits pretty in the north of Kerala with its pristine beaches, made better with the lack of tourists.
Kannur, with its fully functional loom industries & the spirit-possession ritual called Theyyam, stands true to its name which means an ancient village. If you love old world charm & thrive on ancient psychedelic performances, Kannur should be on your bucket list.
It’s very easy to visualize a handloom workshop or an ancient dance performance from someone else’s account or through an Incredible India ad, but when you are there in person to witness the event, you zone out of all preconceived notions & what you experience is a relationship between you & the performer. An experience that can’t be conveyed in third person.
I felt this vibe when I visited Loknath Weavers’ Co-operative, an old loom drenched in equal amount of darkness & sunlight. The rhythmic strumming of the looms & the archaic wooden machinery were relics of a bygone era. The weavers added to the mystique of the place – women dressed in cotton saris & the men in lungis silently smiled at us as we made our way through the small, dusty corridors of the loom.
Kannur is also the best place to see the Theyyam; on most nights of the year there will be a Theyyam ritual going on at a village temple somewhere in the vicinity. The performances usually begin before sunrise in front of the main shrine under the moonlit sky. This open theatre performance along with the haunting sound of the boom drums, the starkly-painted faces of the dancers & their vivid costumes left us feeling both eerie & peaceful at the same time. Despite being an agnostic who rarely indulges in godly rituals, I felt very drawn to the high levels of spiritual energy during the performance. These photos don’t do it justice.
Hope this inspires you to visit Kannur & create your own personalized memory.