Cherumarkali is a harvest dance form of the Cherumar community (agricultural laborers) of the Malabar area in Kerala. Both men and women participate in this dance form. The performers hold each others arms, or shoulder to shoulder, linked in a back-lock. The entire group sings songs and move in a swift rhythm. The dance develops into a variety of pleasing patterns, in which dancers change their positions with amazing rapidly.
The costumes are unique with conical caps known as ‘pala thopi’, dhoti and red sash. The dancers smear sandal paste all over their body and face and wear garlands of red chethi flowers.
The main percussion instruments are Veekkan Chenda, Maram and Karu.
Cherumarkali is usually performed after harvest and in connection with marriage and festivals.