Poothan Thira

Poothan and Thira is a ritualistic art form found in South Malabar region of Kerala in India, usually during the festival (Thalappoli / Pooram) season of Walluvanad temples from December to May. It is performed by people of the Mannan Hindu sub-caste of rural Palakkad, southern parts of Malappuram and northern parts of Thrissur. It is usually performed once or twice a year to cleanse the entire village off evil spirits.

“Poothappattu” written by famous Malayalam poet Edasseri Govindan Nair is based on the above art form.A typical Poothan Thira performance comprising mostly shouts and wild gestures. The duo s immensely popular amongst the natives and an essential part of the village festivals of the region. Poothan player usually wear in bright (usually red), tightly woven costumes embellished with gold-coloured trinkets. Their larger than life headdresses with peacock features and imposing masks with stick out tongues and eyes are sure to leave an unbelievable imagination to the viewer. Thira player wears semicircular black crown mounted on his head with symbols of the goddess embossed on the same. We can see may Thira players with extra ordinary acrobatic skills who make the performance to a real treat to watch.

Poothan & Thira together visits the Hindu houses of the village (Thattakam called locally) during festival seasons accompanied by their drummers. Villagers welcome them with regional religious formalities & it is believed that they represent the goddess who visits her devotees and blesses them.The Poothan and the Thira with their concomitant bells and anklets are synonymous with serene & unsullied villages that have long ceased to be a reality in Kerala.