Parichamuttukali is a martial art form performed in many parts of Kerala. A group dance performed mainly by men bearing swords and shields, this art form is popular among Christians, Muslims and Hindus in Kerala.
The group consists of ten persons is headed by a leader called Asan around whom the rest of the dancers perform. The dancers are usually dressed in a white loin cloth with red wrist-bands and sing in chorus as they dance.
The Asan sing songs to the chimes of a bell. Musical accompaniment is restricted to ilathalam and the din made by the rhythmic clapping of swords and shields. The performance begins with Ganapathy prayer will ends with the Saraswathy prayer.
In northern Kerala parichamuttukali is popular among Pulayar and Cherumar and in Palakkad it is performed as 'Vattakali' and in central Kerala it is popular among the people belonging to coastal area, especially in aryar community.
Parichamuttukali of Christians
The origin of the Parichamuttukali among Christians can be traced back to five decades. And can be find that it was existed in different Christian communities like – Knanaya, Syro Malabar, Jacobite Malankara, Marthoma, Lathin and Dalit-Christians.
Steps similar to that of Kalaripayattu, the martial art of Kerala, can be seen in Parichamuttukali. Christians perform this during church festival and songs related to the story of Christ are used for performance.
Among Muslims the songs used for performance are Mappila Songs or Mappilappattu.