Margam Kali

Among the performing arts of Christians, Margamkali deserves special mention. It is a group dance developed by the Syrian Christians of Kerala. The word ‘Margam’ means path, way, religion or creed. The real source of inspiration for Margamkali was Kalaripayattu which was very popular when the Christian community had developed the form.

The art was meant for the propagation of Christian religious ideas. The form of the art was the result of direct inspiration from the indigenous culture. The dancers play in a circle around a lighted oil lamp while singing themselves. There are no accompanying instruments. The leader of the troupe or tutor known as ‘Asan’ leads the song and the group repeats the same and dances. The language used in the songs of Margamkali reveals its relation with old Tamil.

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