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9 Petals - The Studio

Theyyam Dancer Breastplate

Theyyam Dancer Breastplate

Regular price $1,025.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $1,025.00 USD
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The Theyyam Dancer Breastplate serves as a captivating symbol of the ancient ritual dance form known as Theyyam, practiced for over a thousand years. This art form, once exclusive to a particular caste in the coastal villages of Kerala and Karnataka, has garnered recent popularity among tourists. Passed down from fathers to sons, this ritualized worship unfolds in open-air theatres, often at village shrines, with musicians playing drums and traditional Indian instruments to accompany the dancers.

During these performances, which can extend up to 24 hours, the dancers wear vibrant costumes, grass skirts, metal pieces, and elaborate jewelry. The intricate makeup, applied to the face and various body parts, contributes to the transformative nature of the dance. The preparation for Theyyam, involving days of dedication, aims to establish a connection with the deities represented in the diverse dances, primarily centered around the worship of the Mother Goddess in her manifestations of fertility, abundance, and nature. Over 400 different Theyyam rituals appease various spirits and deities.

The breastplate showcased here would have adorned a male dancer during one such ritual dance performance, symbolizing the abundant features of the Goddess. Adorned with three necklaces, sculpted cobras, and other symbolic representations, this breastplate, crafted from bronze and brass, stands as a testament to the rich Theyyam tradition. Its significance extends beyond mere ornamentation, as snakes, symbolizing Shiva and fertility, intricately contribute to the divine embodiment undertaken by Theyyam performers. This traditional breastplate, a fusion of artistic craftsmanship and cultural symbolism, is not just an artifact but a vessel through which the voice and spirit of divinity manifest. Whether standing alone or hanging on a wall, it encapsulates the essence of Theyyam's spiritual and artistic heritage.

Please note that vintage pieces come with small imperfections, that’s a part of its beauty and age.

Size: 16.75”L x 7”W x 20”H

Weight: 6100 gm

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