Kummatti, Masked Dance-Processions

Kummatti is a form of processional mask dance from the central parts of Kerala. Kummatti dances belong to the cult of Goddess Devi and different temples have their own variations of the tradition.

Kummatti has the quality of a partly improvised, hilarious carnival. Everyone can participate in it since the dances do not require any special skills. The dancers’ costumes are made of bunches of hay, and they wear colourful wooden masks representing mythological characters.

The masked dancers proceed from house to house collecting small donations for the temple. There is now also a children’s kummatti tradition in which children paint their faces with bright colours, and dance led by male dancers.