<< Kerala Art Forms

Oppana is a dance form and a performing art practiced by the Muslim women in the Malabar region of Kerala, especially the districts of Kannoor, Kozhikode and Malappuram. It is believed that the word Oppana derives its origin from the word Afna (Arabic). This art form is performed to commemorate the nuptial celebrations of the bride and is part of the wedding festivities. It is a famed form of social entertainment. Maidens and the female relatives of the bride sing and dance clapping their hands.

The bride is decked in finery and intricate ornaments and seated in the middle on a high seat called the peetam. The bride’s friends and other young ladies clap their hands rhythmically to the beat of the song and dance around her. There are about 15 performers including the musicians. The dance is not vigorous and the steps are simple and movements graceful. Sometimes a type of Oppana called Oppana Chayal is performed that does not involve the clapping of hands. The other type of Oppana is Oppana Murukkam, the dance closing on a crescendo.

Jovial themes

The songs sung are called Mappilapattu and are sung first by the leader and the remaining women lend the chorus. Two or three girls lead the dance and the rest soon join in. The songs’ themes are usually teasing comments and insinuations to the marital bliss and the shy bride’s emotions. The language is a combination of Arabic & Malayalam.

In some households the men also perform the Oppana for the groom’s entertainment. In these cases it is performed before leaving for the bride’s place. It is there that the wedding (Nikkah) is performed. In some cases the men also perform the Oppana as the groom enters the Maniyara (Bridal Chamber). The instruments played along are the Harmonium, Ganjira, Tabla and Elathaalam. The Oppana is performed as a stage item for contests and cultural functions nowadays.

For more details on the land of valour and veterans, log on to kozhikode.com

For Accommodation - Hotels / Resorts / Homestays in Kozhikode

Kerala - Tourism in a nutshell

Kerala Backwaters Kerala Houseboats
Kerala Wildlife Kerala Beaches
Kerala Ayurveda Kerala Hill Stations
Kerala Cuisine Kerala Pilgrimages
Kerala Monuments Kerala Astrology
Kerala Waterfalls Kerala Eco Tourism
Kerala Farm Tourism Kerala Adventure Tourism
Kerala Art Forms Kerala Handicrafts
Kerala Spices Kerala Fairs and Festivals
Kerala Parks and Gardens Kerala Homestays
Kerala Religion Kerala Culture
Kerala People and Lifestyle Kerala Healthcare
Kerala Tree Houses Kerala Traditions and Rituals
Kerala Education Kerala Shopping
Kerala Maps Kerala Attractions
Kerala Village Tourism Kerala Sports Tourism
Kerala Monsoon Tourism