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Location: Kerala
Held in: The Kaali Temples along the Banks of River Pamba
Performed By: The Men of Nair Community

Patayani - A Ritual Dance Performed by the Nair Community, KeralaPatayani is a week-long ritual dance, held in Kaali temples on the banks of the Pamba river, during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Medam (March-April).

The choice theme of the dancers is the slaying of the demon Daarikan by the goddess Kaali. The steps and movements of the dance vary according to each 'Kolam' or character.

Thappu is the major percussion instrument accompanied by a few 'Chendas'. Patayani is usually performed by the Nair community, as a ritual offering.

Traditionally, the village astrologer prepares the masks of the gods. Patayani masks are made with the fresh spathe of arecanut palms. 'Bhairavi' (Bhadrakaali), 'Yakshi', 'Pakshi' (Bird) and 'Kaalari' (Siva) are the main characters.

Various communities targetted for criticism are represented by jesters. 'Kadammanitta', 'Kadalimangalam' and 'Othara' are famous for annual Patayani performances.

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