Thrissur: Thousands thronged Kerala`s Thrissur district on Sunday, to catch a glimpse of the spectacular mask dances, an annual event held during the harvest festival of Onam.
During the ten-day festival of Onam, several cultural events are organised and one of the most prominent attractions of the festival is the popular ``Kumattikali`` or the tribals`` mask dance, inspired from the tales of Hindu mythology.
In the past, Kummattikalli performers travelling from house to house, entertained people and collected gifts like jaggery, rice and cash.
"We are presenting various dance forms in this festival. Several mask dances are showcased during the festival. These dancers depict different faces. Other dances are not given too much importance; people are generally attracted by the Kummatti dance," said K Surendran, President, Thrissur Kumatikalli Sangam.
However, in contemporary times, the ancient dance festival has become a money-making initiative.
Kummatti dances are quite popular in Thrissur district and boast of over 40 such small and big troupes, with each troupe comprising at least 20 members.
The folk dancers, dressed in beautiful costumes, wear heavily painted colourful wooden masks depicting visages of various mythological characters like Krishna, Narada, Tirath and Darika.
These masks are generally made out of hog plum or coral trees.
Dancers were also seen holding long sticks made out of residuary agricultural produce called ``Kummattikali``.
The themes of Kummattikali are mostly inspired from the stories of Ramayana, Darika Vadham and folk tales like Manjan Nayare Pattu. (ANI)