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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Kerala >> Culture of Kerala

Culture of Kerala

Kathakali, kuttiyatam and kalaripayattu are Kerala’s pre-eminent arts. The culturally thriving society evolved its own classical dance-drama form called Kathakali. The Kathakali dancer relies on exaggerated eye movements, a ferociously painted face and stylised dancing to convey the spectacle of good versus evil. The native martial art form of Kalaripayattu exacts physical and mental dexterity from its exponent. People dedicate entire lives to mastering the lithe deadly graceful movements. Kuttiyatam is also an ancient dance-drama form. Mohiniattam is a classical dance performed exclusively by women.

Malayali literature dates back to 100AD. The poet Kumaran Asan is a towering literary figure. The folk theatre form of Yakshaganam originated in Kerala.

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