MARGOM KALI

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Location: Kerala
Performed by: Syrian Christian Community in Kerala
Based on: The Life of St. Thomas


Margom Kali - A Folk Dance of the Syrian Christians of Kottayam and Thrissur District, KeralaIt is a folk art of the Syrian Christians of Kottayam and Thrissur districts. A dozen dancers sing and dance around a lighted wick lamp or 'Nilavilakku' clad in a simple traditional white 'dhoti' and sporting a peacock feather on the turban to add a touch of colour.

This is an allegorical enactment with the lamp representing Christ and the performers, his disciples.

The performance is in two parts and begins with songs and dance narrating the life of St. Thomas. It then takes a striking turn, with a martial play of artificial swords and shields.

The narration is stark as no musical instrument is used, with the songs dating back to a period much before the Portugese invasion. Today, women perform it as a stage item.



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