A ritual art form of Kerala
, Patayani is a week-long dance performed in Kali temples. It is held during the Malayalam months of
The core theme is the killing of the demon Daarikan by Goddess Kali. The steps and movements of this dance vary according to each Kolam (character). The main characters are Bhairavi (Bhadrakaali), Yakshi, Pakshi (bird) and Kaalari (Lord Shiva).
Thappu accompanied by a few Chendas is the main instrument used in this dance. Patayani masks are built with the fresh spathe of arecanut palms.
Kadammanitta, Kadalimangalam and Othara in Pathanamthitta District are famous for this dance.