The Gods of The Gods Own Country
The Gods of God's Own Country is a reminder of a forgotten culture and the communities surrounding it. Theyyam is a Dravidian ritual art form of Kerala, India - God's own country. This book provides detailed information about Theyyam, beautiful images, and hundreds of stories. We dedicate this book to the Theyyam artists, the veritable gods "Of the People, by the People, for the People."
The author had the amazing grace of chasing the light with his camera during his management consulting, and volunteer roles, embarking upon expeditions in and around twenty countries over the past three decades. However, he has yet to catch sight of a place where over 500 gods descend upon the earth during a single season. Sandwiched between the Western Ghats mountain range (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the queenly Arabian sea, carpeted by natural greenery, the hilly terrains of North Malabar open it's off-beat paths for the Theyyam Gods to embrace the gods-forsaken disciples. Thanks to those Theyyam Gods, the Malabar corner is that truly shining city on a hill. These gods double-up as costume designers, painters, musicians, artisans, drummers, and choreographers. They transcend the human realms and have burgeoned into a mystical form, where they endure blazing fires and carry hefty costumes effortlessly.
The Gods of The God's Own Country takes you on a whirlwind ride into the dense history and astonishing versatility of Theyyam, the ritual dance of the glistening cities atop the Malabar Hills of God's Own Country – Kerala. It is rich in captivating images of Theyyam and storytelling.
The book's second part embarks on the Herculean task of covering the centuries-old, mesmerizing 101 Theyyam stories. Like the Blues in the Mississippi Delta, using song and dance, the Thottam and Theyyam express the melancholy of the Dravida, natives of God's Own Country, submerged under the 5000-year-old Chaturvarnya caste system. A true divine rebellion against mighty, unjust systems, their stories and art pluck a string in our own hearts today.