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Kerala tourism Guide



Kokkali has been in existence for more than 200 years and needs great control in the steps in order to perform it. People of all ages take part in this dance and the performers go in a circular pattern in small steps striking the stick along with the rhythm the music.

History of Kolkali

Kolkali or dance with sticks is a rhythmic dance performed by the people of North Malabar in Kerala. It is performed to celebrate joy and spread happiness and during the paddy harvest season. Villagers participate in this event irrespective caste and creed. Today it is also performed during festivals and different occasions. It is also known as Thattinmelkali when it is performed on wooden stages.

How to perform

Kokkali is performed by 12 to 24 performers who move rhythmically in a circle around the ceremonial lamp by tapping their feet along with striking of the wooden sticks held in their hands. The dancing circle get expanded and contracted as the dance progress and reaches the climax, when the music reaches a certain pitch. The vibrant dancing steps are accompanied by vocal music sung in the background. The dance starts in a slow tempo and gathers momentum into a fast tempo during the climax.

Famous artists from kerala

  • Kokkali is performed by troupes from Muslim, Christians and Harijans communities.

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