Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Oppana is a song and dance performance popular among the Muslims of Malabar. It is commonly seen at their various festive occasions like weddings, ceremonies held to herald puberty and so on. Apart from being a component of all Muslim weddings - what it is most well-known for - the Oppana is also performed on the occasion of a Maarkkakalyanam, a Vayassariyikkal, and a Naalppathukali.

The Arabic word Afna is the root word for Oppana. According to some, the origins of Oppana can be traced back to Ishal, a musical element of the Mappilapaattu, another art form of the Malabari Muslims. There are separate types of Oppanas for both men and women. 

There are two styles of singing in the Oppana. These are the Oppana chaayal and the Oppana murukkam. In the Oppana chaayal, the singers do not clap their hands to the beat of the song whereas in the parts of the song which incorporates the murukkam, clapping accompanies the singing. Usually, an Oppana performance starts and ends with chaayal.

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