The God of Love in Costumes: A Local Tradition in Hinduism

  South northern Indian state of Kerala, known as Malabar (Malabar), in the region there is a long history of faith, God is presented like people dressed up his image. In the worship ceremony, which is usually held once a year, the god possesses the person who dresses him up, and the latter dances after the god possesses and blesses believers. The god here is called Teyyam (Teyyam/Theyyam, called Tira in the south of Malaba), which is a variant of “God”. To be precise, the god here is a god of love. There are three to four hundred types of Teyam, most of which have their own origin stories, and most of them are gods transformed from people. They all have their own specific face makeup, crown and clothing. The “Teyyattam” (Teyyattam) or “drama dance” (kaliyattam), also referred to as “Teyyattam”, is a ritual performance held by the village community, caste or family on a specific date for the Teyam.
  For the first time, I knew that Teyam was a private folk museum in Cochin, a tourist city in southern Kerala. The museum’s exhibits have different Tejam costumes and crowns, with exaggerated shapes and strong colors. Some places remind me of Kathakali (kathakali, katha means story, and kali means drama). Before, I was in Kathakali. I did a year of anthropological fieldwork in a village in the south of Lala. The religious life of Hindus was also an aspect of my concern. At the temple festival of the largest Shiva temple in the town, I saw the subtle and charming of Katakari The performance is a fragment of the epic “Ramayan”. Although Katakari is often performed on the temple stage, it is not a ritual art, which means it is not an essential part of the ritual. Katakari is a dance drama and mime developed in Kerala in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It complies with the performance standards and techniques described in the Indian classical drama theory “Dance Theory”, and has become the contemporary Kathmandu with its classical art form. LaLabang’s cultural business card. I later discovered that Teyam has become the representative of local culture in northern Kerala. On December 9, 2018, the opening ceremony of Kannur International Airport, the second international airport in northern Kerala, was held. For the decoration of the new airport, the murals of Katakari and Teyam are used, and the more frequently seen in newspapers and online news is the huge Teyam fresco facing the customs exit: a huge black painting. The face with eye rims and intricate yellow and red patterns wears a gorgeous crown of silver, gold and red made of metal and pleated cloth. I was sitting in the guest house of Karikat University in northern Kerala reading a newspaper-I came here for three months during the Teyam festival season, mainly to read Teyam.
  Tejam, as a belief and ritual, is classified under the name of Hinduism in academic research. What is Hinduism? The Indian government’s census every ten years will count the religious identity of the population—a practice that started in the British colonial era. At present, 80% of Indian citizens are Hindus (Hindu, the term Hindu is derived from the transliteration of the Sanskrit Indus [Sindhu] in the Persian-Arabic literature, and the meaning extends from the region to the residents. In the rule, they obtain the meaning of religious identity different from Muslims), and the religion they believe in is Hinduism. Hinduism is notoriously difficult to define. It is like a big umbrella, trying to cover the multiple traditions that are both continuous and broken from the vertical time dimension, and from the horizontal space dimension to contain the regional myths and the “family similarity” of differences and “family similarities”. ceremony. In terms of origin, it is the Aryans who migrated from Central Asia-Iran and the native inhabitants of the subcontinent (the most prominent are the Dravidians. Here, the Aryans and Dravidians, the first is language— The concept of culture, not the concept of race) is the result of the integration and evolution of beliefs and practices. However, this integration is uneven among different groups of people/castes, so contemporary Hindu research sometimes divides internal levels. Commonly divided into Sanskritic and folk/folk: the former is based on Sanskrit ( Sanskrit) based on the text, represented by Brahman, can also be called Brahmin Hinduism; the latter is the belief and ritual practice in small places and villages that have no text basis. But in fact, there is more than one intermediate level between the two major and minor traditions similar to Redfield, reflecting the different degrees of integration between the Sanskrit tradition and the regional tradition, such as the belief in the goddess of Kerala. Tejam, who is usually classified as a folk worship, has also absorbed the classical mythology of the Sanskrit tradition.
  The origin of Teyyam can be traced back to Sangam literature (KKN Kurup, The Cult of Teyyam and Hero Worship in Kerala, Kozhikode: Centre for Folklore Studies, University of Calicut, 2000 [1973]. Sangam literature) It is the general term for early Tamil poetry and literary creation. The era covered by it is called the Sangam era. There are different versions of time, from the third century BC to the third century AD, or the first to the fifth century. Sangam At that time, Kerala and Tamil Nadu belonged to the same language-cultural area). Some scholars believe that the tradition of hero worship is more ancient. It originated from the primitive worship form of ritual dances of forest tribes in northern Kerala. Different gods have different The period of time is included (Mannarakkal Dasan, Theyyam: Patronage, Appropriation and Interpolation, Thalassery: Kannur University, 2012). Regardless of whether it originated from the related traditions of Sangam literature, it is undeniable that Tejam belongs to the Dravidian culture represented by Sangam literature. The possession of gods is a common calling and management contradiction in ancient Dravidian religion. One of the forms of supernatural power. One fundamental difference between the Gods of Teyam and the Sanskrit temple gods is that the former will only appear in the eyes of believers in the form of possession: through performers during Teyam festivals, and through god media in peacetime. The public sacred place for worshipping Tejam, Kavu (Kavu, its original meaning is a small forest, and a small forest regarded as a sacred forest is the center of worship). The difference from the temple is that there are no idols in the former, and gods are enshrined in the hut. Sacred weapons such as swords and shields are used by Tejam in performances. Nowadays, many big Kawu have changed the name of Sanskrit “kshetram” (kshetram) in their official names, but the essential difference between the two still remains.
  In the Tejam ceremony, before the possession dance, the performer will sing the story of Tejam, which is an important part of the ceremony. From these lyrics and oral legends, we can understand the origin of most of the gods who became Teyam and the story of how they became Teyam. The Gods Teyam we see today can be roughly divided into two categories from the origin: one comes from the heavens, and the other comes from the world. The second category is more numerous. In the first category, most of them are goddesses who are infinitely powerful and violent or bring diseases, especially epidemic diseases (such as smallpox). Their birth is either the creation of the great god Shiva, or is related to Shiva. They can be classified It is a popular belief in goddesses throughout Kerala; another part is the incarnation and transformation of great gods (mainly Shiva, Shiva’s spouse Snow Mountain Goddess, and occasionally Vishnu). The second category is the gods that people transform into, and most of them become gods after death. Among them are ancestors as categories rather than specific individuals, heroes with outstanding deeds, and victims who have experienced unrighteous and violent deaths, such as dying of gender, family, or caste violence (this is a topic that this article cannot expand but is worth exploring topic). Some heroic gods are related to Shiva or Vishnu, and the gods that women become after death are usually given the names of goddesses, such as Bhagavati, Boti, etc., and the names related to their stories are added before the names. Qualifiers.