Pottan Theyyam is a lively and colourful ritualistic dance. The story goes that Lord Shiva wanted to test the intelligence of Sree Sankaracharya, who was about to reach the Sarvanjapeetam (the zenith of wisdom). The Thottam (introductory part) of Pottan Theyyam describes how Lord Shiva dons his role as Chandalan.
The Pottan Theyyam is mainly performed by people belonging to the Malayar and Pulayar communities. Communities like Mavilan, Munnoottan, Panan and others too have Pottan Theyyams of their own.