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MARGAMKALI is a group dance of Kerala practiced by Saint Thomas Christians who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle among Jews
Jews
and natives in the 1st century.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Performance * 3 Today * 4 See also * 5 Notes

HISTORY

Part of a series on

SAINT THOMAS CHRISTIANS

HISTORY

Saint Thomas · Thomas of Cana · Mar Sabor and Mar Proth
Mar Sabor and Mar Proth
· Tharisapalli plates
Tharisapalli plates
· Synod of Diamper · Coonan Cross Oath
Coonan Cross Oath

RELIGION

Ancient crosses · Churches · Shrines · Liturgical language · Church music

PROMINENT PERSONS

Abraham Malpan
Abraham Malpan
· Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar · Kayamkulam Philipose Ramban · Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Kuriakose Elias Chavara
· Mar Thoma I · Saint Alphonsa · Sadhu Kochoonju Upadesi · Kariattil Mar Ousep · Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril · Gheevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala · Geevarghese Mar Ivanios · Saint Alphonsa
Saint Alphonsa
· Euphrasia Eluvathingal · Thoma of Villarvattom

CULTURE

Margamkali
Margamkali
· Parichamuttukali
Parichamuttukali
· Cuisine · Suriyani Malayalam

* v * t * e

There are several opinions on the origin of Margamkali. They are:

* It is traced back to Jewish wedding songs and dance from the diaspora. Scholars have found common origin among Malabar Jewish dance and songs and the Saint Thomas Christian dance form of Margamkali. * It is derived from Sangam kali, a performance dance form of Brahmins
Brahmins
. * It is derived from the Yathra Kali, a performance art of Nambuthiri
Nambuthiri
Brahmins
Brahmins
in Kerala.

"Margam" means path or way or solution in Malayalam
Malayalam
, but in the religious context it is known as the path to attain salvation. The process of conversion to Christianity was known as "Margam Koodal" until recently in Kerala.Much of this folk art is woven around the mission of St. Thomas, the Apostle. The original Margam Kali describes the arrival of St. Thomas in Malabar, the miracles he performed, the friendship as well as the hostility of the people among whom he worked, the persecution he suffered, the churches and crosses he put up in various places, etc. These details are incorporated in the various stanzas of the Margam Kali songs. Kerala's Margam Kali is an important element in the age-old and hallowed tradition of St Thomas among the Syrian Christians of Malabar Coast .

The disparity between the present condition of this form and the early days leads one to assume three important phases in the history of Margamkali. The first phase was the pre-colonization one in which this semi-theatrical form was performed by the Saint Thomas Christians during special occasions. Parichamuttukali
Parichamuttukali
(The sword and shield dance) was also a part of it. Later Synod of Diamper curbed and suppressed this native form. During the seventeenth century, due to the efforts of a Southist priest Itti Thomman Kathanar, the textual part of this form got certain upliftment and care. The Margamkali might have been edited and refashioned into the present fourteen stanza structure during this period. However, until the end of the nineteenth century the art form was not in common practice even though it did exist in some places. But at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, the form became popular once again, and some structural changes took place then. Masters such as Kalarikal Unni ashan, Indumoottil Kocheppu ashan, Indumoottil Kutto ashan were some of them who were responsible for this change and upheaval. By this time puttan Purikkal Uthuppu Lukose compiled and published Margamkali
Margamkali
Pattukal in 1910. Then again it had a set-back and during the 1950s to 1970s it was on the verge of becoming extinct. But in the late 1970s once again the Saint Thomas Christians took the initiative to revive and popularize this form.

PERFORMANCE

A dozen dancers sing and dance clapping around a Nilavilakku wearing the traditional white dhoti ("mundu") and blouse ("chatta"). The lamp represents Christ and the performers his disciples. The performance is usually held in two parts ("padham") and begins with songs and dances narrating the life of St.Thomas , the apostle. It then takes a striking turn with a martial play of artificial swords and shields. Margamkali
Margamkali
does not use any instruments other than two small palm size cymbals played by the same person who sings the song. It was originally played by men and afterwards by boys, but nowadays women also perform the dance.

TODAY

Currently both Margamkali
Margamkali
and Parichamuttukali
Parichamuttukali
are included in the State Youth Festival of Kerala. This makes these art forms a competitive item in the Four-tier system (i.e. School, Sub District, Revenue and State level) Youth festival. Margam Kali is performed mainly by women in cultural shows and by school children in a variety of competitions. Angel Rose Abi and her team have the current title of attaining the most prizes in Margamkali
Margamkali
at the school and college level in Kerala.

SEE ALSO

* Arts of Kerala * Kerala Folklore Academy

NOTES

* ^ A B http://nasrani.net/2009/05/04/margam-kali-history-theme-early-reference-and-modern-developments/ * ^ A B Neumann K (1998) "Mond, Gott Siva und heiliger Thomas: Die religiöse Gemeinschaft der Knanaya in Kerala" Universität Marburg p 150 * ^ Vellian, J (1990) 'Crown, veil, cross : marriage rites' in Syrian churches series, vol 15 p 30 * ^ http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/article1821007.ece?css=print * ^ Ulloor Parameswara Iyer - Kerala Sahithya Charithram * ^ M.V. Vishnu Namboothiri, Dictionary of folklore, page 529 * ^ K.C. Zacharia - THE SYRIAN CHRISTIANS OF KERALA: DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIOECONOMIC TRANSITION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY * ^ The Hosten pictures of 1924 published by Prof. George Menachery may be referred to * ^ The efforts of Prof. George Menachery was met with the approval of Minister T. M. Jacob in introducing this item in the State Youth Festival

Wikimedia Commons has media related to MARGAMKALI .

* v * t * e

Culture of Kerala

ARTS PROMOTION BODIES

* Kerala Kalamandalam
Kerala Kalamandalam
* Kerala Lalitakala Academy * Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Thrissur * Kerala Folklore Academy

PERFORMING ARTS

* Chakyar Koothu * Kathakali
Kathakali
* Kerala Natanam * Koodiyattam
Koodiyattam
* Mohiniyattam
Mohiniyattam
* Nangiar Koothu
Nangiar Koothu
* Ottamthullal
Ottamthullal

MUSIC

* Kshetram vadyam * Kuzhal Pattu * Mappila Paattu
Mappila Paattu
* Panchari melam
Panchari melam
* Panchavadyam * Pandi Melam
Pandi Melam
* Parisha Vadyam * Pulluvan Paattu * Sopanam * Thayambaka
Thayambaka

FOLK ARTS

* Arabana muttu * Charadupinnikkali * Chavittu Nadakam
Chavittu Nadakam
* Duff Muttu * Garudan Thookkam * Kolam Thullal * Kolkali * Kothammuriyattam * Kummattikali
Kummattikali
* Kuthiyottam * Malayikuthu * Mangalamkali * Marathukali * Margam Kali * Mudiyett * Oppana
Oppana
* Padayani * Parichamuttukali
Parichamuttukali
* Poorakkali * Poothan
Poothan
* Sarpam Thullal * Thacholikali * Theyyam
Theyyam
* Thiriyuzhichil * Thiyyattu * Tholpavakoothu

FINE ARTS

* Kerala mural painting
Kerala mural painting

FESTIVALS

* Aanayoottu
Aanayoottu
* Aaraattu * Aluva Sivarathri festival * Arattupuzha Pooram * Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku
Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku
* Gandharvanpattu * Ilanjithara Melam
Ilanjithara Melam
* Kadavallur Anyonyam * Kanyarkali * Karivela * Keralotsavam * Kollam Pooram * Kottakkal pooram * Kottankulangara Festival * Machad Mamangam * Makaravilakku * Nalukulangara Pooram * Kalpathi Ratholsavam * Nenmara Vallanghy Vela * Onam
Onam
* Onathallu or Avittathallu * Peruvanam Pooram * Puli Kali
Puli Kali
* Tattamangalam Kuthira Vela
Tattamangalam Kuthira Vela
* Thirumandhamkunnu Pooram
Thirumandhamkunnu Pooram
* Thiruvathira * Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur Pooram
* Uthralikavu Pooram * Vishu
Vishu

MARTIAL ARTS

* Kalaripayattu

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

* Chenda
Chenda
* Idakka
Idakka
* Kombu (instrument) * Mizhavu
Mizhavu
* Timila

SOCIETY

* Sarpa Kavu * Tharavad
Tharavad

* TEMPLATES * PORTAL * CATEGORY * WIKIPROJECT

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