Dance in its simplest form can be seen among the tribes. Their dance performance can be divided into religious, folk and cultural. In the religious form, the performer himself transforms into the deity or spirit. They use to perform dances in connection with the performance of various life cycle rituals. On festivals, every member of the community participates and involves totally in the dance. Drums and wind instruments are the background instruments of tribes. The vocal music that accompanies the dance are mainly descriptions containing some moral.

Edaya Nritham

Edaya nritham is a tribal dance form of shepherds in which men and women participate accompanied by songs.


A dance form depicts hunting of wild bear performed by Irula tribes. Whole community participates in the dance. One disguised as a wild bear and others sing and dance in a circle. In the song, they invite wild bear and perform actions of its chasing through the dance. When the bear runs away, the dance ends.




Gadhikamadal is a ritual dance form of Adiya tribes to heal diseases. If anybody in the village falls ill, the Gadhika (Moopan who is a musician cum witch doctor of Adiyas) perform certain poojas by chanting recital and determine the fate of the patient. He dances and cut a coconut into two pieces and according to the size of the piece, he decides whether the patient survives or not. It is also performed to have healthy and brilliant children.


Ivarkali is an ancient dance form performed by the members of Asari and Kollan communities. It is also known as Ivar drama, Pandavarkali. The theme of the dance form is the story of Pandavas of the epic Mahabharaha. Five men stand around a Nilavilakku (holy lamp) having five wicks and perform dance. It is a combination of Parichamuttukali and Kolkali.

Kaanikkar Nritham

This is a group dance of the Kanikkar tribe as evidenced by its name. It is a ritual dance accompanied by the beating of drums.

Kaadar Nritham

Kadar Nritham is a dance form of women belonging to Kadar tribe. Holding their hands together and holding their clothe tips they perform the dance in semi-circle according to the rhythms.

Kooran Kali

Koorankali is a tribal dance in which one man acts as wild bear while another as a hunting dog accompanied by the sounds of drums. The witnesses also partake in the dance forming a circle around the dancers.

Kurumbar Nritham

It is a dance form performed by Kurumba tribe on the occasion of marriages.

Man Kali

This is a dance form performed by tribes. The story of Sita being enchanted by the Maricha, the spy of Ravana as narrated in the Ramayana epic is performed.


Mudiyattom is a dance form of tribal women. They do comb and tie their hair and allow it to run down and dangle in waves while performing this dance form.

Naikar Kali

A ritual dance performed by naikar tribe of Waynad and Malappuram. They perform the dance with tinkle anklets round their legs moving round in clock-wise and anti-clockwise accompanied by drum and pipes in the background.

Paniyar Kali

Paniyar Kali is a dance form of tribes of Wayanad district. About ten men perform the dance in a circular motion with joined hands. Men alone participate in the dance.

Urali Thullal

Urali Thullal is a ritual dance performed by Urali tribe similar to that of Velichappad thullal (oracle dance).