Parichamuttukali, a martial art form, is usually performed by the Christians of northern and central Kerala
. It is a group dance with the dancers holding sword and shield made of wood in their hands, following the movements of sword fight, leaping forward, stepping back and moving round. The dancers are specially trained and often experienced in Kalaripayattu
, one of the ancient martial arts of Kerala. With a major stress on the Kerala folk tunes, the asan (leader of the group) sing songs to the chimes of a bell. Parichamuttukali is performed to the accompaniment of Ilathalam
(small cymbals) and the din made by the rhythmic clapping of swords and shields.