Karakattam, also known as Karagam, is a popular folk dance of Tamil Nadu
and Andhra Pradesh
. This dance form, generally conducted in August, is originated as a ritual dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of health and rain. Though this dance form originates from Thanjavur
, its popularity has spread to the neighbouring regions including Pudukkottai
Karakattam is conducted by an individual or two persons with various acrobatic feats. The dancers, attired in colourful costumes, carry decorated pots on their heads and dance in a lively manner to the rhythm of the music. The pots are adorned with a cone of flower arrangements with a paper parrot at its top. The parrot which rotates on the movements of the dancer is a delightful sight.
The musical instruments used include Tavil, Nadaswaram, Muni, Udukku and
Karakattam is popular in villages during temple festivals.
In Sangam Literature, it is referred as 'Kudakoothu'. This dance is classified as Aatta Karagam and Sakthi Karagam. Aatta Karagam is usually performed in temples while Sakthi Karagam is performed on stages for entertainment.