‘Pentheyyam’ performed at Thekkumbad temple

via Newindpress published on December 22, 2006

KANNUR: The ‘Pentheyyam’ (woman theyyam) – known as ‘Devakoothu’ – performed at the Thekkumbad Kulombhagavathy temple in the district here is the only one of its kind in the state.

The ‘Pentheyyam’, which takes place once in two years following the traditions and rituals, was performed by Chinnu alias Lakshmi, wife of Kelu Panicker at Madayi, on Thursday morning.

There is an interesting legend linked with the Pentheyyam. One of a group of goddesses who came down to the earth wandered too far away from the others fascinated by the beauty of the land here. She was isolated from the rest of the group and was forced to remain here.

Efforts to get back to the World of Gods with the help of saint Narada Maharshi proved futile and the goddess chose to stay at Thekkumbad with the support of the local people.

The ‘Pentheyyam’ usually attracts hundreds of devotees to the temple here. Lakshmi, the woman who was chosen to perform the theyyam in accordance with the prevailing traditional practice, was brought to Thekkumbad two days back in a special canoe from Pazhayangadi.

She had to remain aloof in a shed made of palm leaves observing certain rituals. As Lakshmi came out as the manifestation of the ‘Pentheyyam’ on Thursday morning, there were hundreds to watch the scene.

The Kerala Folklore Academy had honoured Laskhmi, the lone woman-performer of theyyam in North Kerala, two years ago

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