Breastplate

Theyyam is a form of ritual worship and dance found in the southern Indian state of Kerala; it is unique to the region of Malabar. The performer or Theyyam as he is known is considered as Bhagavathy or goddess incarnate during the ritual. There are over three hundred types of theyyam; the dance is performed only by male members of the vannan, malayan, velan, pulayan and koppalan social groups. The knowledge of this ritual dance tradition is also inherited by male descendants of performers. The preparation routine is elaborate; each deity represented by dance having unique styles of dress and ornamentation. The hood, headdress, breastplate, bracelets for each theyyam are distinct and carefully crafted. The brassplates for Kurathi is made of brass and that of Puthiya Bhagavathi is wooden. This is a 20th century breastplate made for the purpose of display rather than for performance.

Date/Period
Late 20th century
Region
Kerala, India
Dimension
Object size: 29 x 22.2 x 7.7 cm
Accession No.
2014-00238
Material
Bronze
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Category
Bronze