What is Margam Kali?

Margam Kali is one of the ancient Group dances of South India practiced by Syrian Christians. The origin of the Margam Kali dance related to the arrival of Syrian groups under the leadership of Thomas Cana. This dance closely related to Dances of ancient Bysantine Kingdom. Margam Kali is the song-dance part of the form of art. But some scholars opine that it was derived from Thiruvathirakali or Parichamuttukali. The word ‘Margam’ means Way or Path. The participant’s number of this dance is only 12. Because Margam Kali in which 12 people dance around an oil Lamp. The dancers of Margam Kali sing and dance clapping around that Lamp (Nilavialkku). The performers of Margam Kali, wearing the white Blouse (‘Chatta’) and white Dhoti (‘Mundu’). The Oil lamp represents Jesus Christ and the dancers his 12 disciples. Margam Kali doesn’t accompanied by any musical instruments. The theme of the song of Margamkali is a rendition of Thomas Apostles’ activities in South India and the ultimate martyrdom of Apostle in India. It is use two cymbals played by a person. This particular person also sings the song. In the ancient times (Before the arrival of Portuguese), the male dancers performed this dance. But currently female also perform this dance. Traditionally this art dance was the activity or recreation which helped the soldiers’ (Christian) time pass. But now-a-days it is performed in weddings of Syriac Christians. Fr. Ittithomman Anjilimoottil is a one of the famous exponent of the Margam Kali.