Thiruvathira Chozhi organised by Vayali – Photo: courtesy Deccan Chronicle
This Saturday, after sundown, wearing creepy masks made of arecanut peel and wrapped in dried plantain scraps, the Thiruvathira Chozhi with horns and sticks will go door to door collecting grains, rice and bananas in Thrissur.
It is a part of our culture but if it sounds alien to many, it is because it is a dying form. The annual ritual will be enacted thanks to the efforts of Vayali, an NGO started by Vinod Nambiar, a Kochi-based software engineer. [...]
“The initial years were challenging; we had no money to keep it alive. Most of our teammates were construction workers and carpenters; the breadwinners of their family but over the years, we are now in a position to pay them,” says Vinod, who is the motivation behind this effort initiated in the banks of Nila. This year, Vayali won the Keli Award from Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy. [...]
Aiyyapan Ashan, who belonged to the Pulaya community, was one of the few remaining Kudachozhi practitioners. [...]
“My team traveled all the way to his house and learnt the art form from his before he passed away. I don’t believe that people in rural places should limit themselves to traditional occupations. They should go outside and earn money but I feel it is their responsibility to learn their traditional arts and pass them to the next generation irrespective of whether they want to practice it or not.”
Vayali also runs an eco bazaar that helps sell traditional wares like terracotta products, organic food products and curios made out of coconut shells.
The folk expression group learns, performs and imparts traditional folk songs and dances and the most interesting of it is the Bamboo Orchestra that they started.
“In November 2007, the Vayali team performed at the Traditional Music festival organised by the Department of Japan. We showcased various Valluvandan art forms. It was the Bamboo Orchestra we saw in Japan that inspired us to start a similar one including our traditional Mulam Chenda and Mazha Mooli and flute,” says Vinod who was in Thiruvananthapuram to participate in IC-FOSS conference.
Source: NGO Vayali breathes life into art forms | Deccan Chronicle
Address : http://www.deccanchronicle.com/tabloid/all-rounders/ngo-vayali-breathes-life-art-forms-125
Date Visited: Tue Feb 21 2012 14:29:38 GMT+0100 (CET)