Theyyam, also known as Kalyattom, is an age-old socioreligious ceremony of Kerala State. As the name suggests, Kaliyattaom is sacred dance performed for Goddess Kali ( Gaoddess Shakti): it is sometimes called Theyyattom since every thera (village) is bound to perform it.
About 450 forms of Theyyam are known, and each has its own myth, style, costume, and leaves of coconut trees of different shapes and size, massive headgear and uduthuketty ( waist dress ) prepared from arecanut trees and bomboos are warn by the dancers. Their mudis ( faces ) are adorned with red cloth, coloured papers and red flowers to make them more attractive.
The very name is indicative of the story behind the origin of Moovalamkuzhi Chamundi. Moovalam means three men and Kuzhi means well. So Moovalamkuzhi translates into a well as deep as the height of three men. The God worshiped here is the main deity of the temples of the weaver caste of north Malabar.
The Theyyam season here begins every year with the performance of Moovalam Kuzhi Chamundi and the associated Theyyams on the 10th and the 11th of the Malayalam month of Thulam [1st half of October] in the famous Anjoottabalam Verar Kavu, Nileshwar.