Kerala folklore is unique in its richness and variety. Folklore in its widest sense embraces traditions, folk tales, folk songs, folk arts, folk beliefs, taboos and superstions, belief in omens and magic.
The people of Kerala belonging to all castes and communities have their rich collection of folk songs, which have drawn their themes from religion and mythology, agricultural operations like sowing, harveting, and incidents of social life like weddings and the beauties of Kerala landscape. Vanchipattuakal, Mappilapattuakal, Pallipattuakal, and Onapattuakal are some of them.
Kerala has enriched with its own chart eristic folk arts from very early days. Teyyam Tullal of the erstwhile Malabar area, Bhadrakalipattu that denotes the killing of Darika by Kali, Pamputullal, and Nagakanni connected with the Naga cult, are famous among them. The Mudiyattom Kali is a kind of folk dance in which the female participants unlock their hair and engage themselves in frantic dancing to the accomplishment of folk songs. There are also a variety of folk arts known by different names as Kumbha Nritham, Arjuna Nritham, Kummatti, Patayani, etc in different part of Kerla.
Among the people who have enriched Indian Cultural Heritage and helped the cause of national integration, the people of the Kerala region of South India have a place of honour. Kerala culture is in fact, an integral part of Indian culture. Kerala like the Indian sub continent can claim to have a culture the history of which runs into the dim recesses of antiquity.
Kerala’s culture is also a composite and cosmopolitan culture to which several people and races have made their significant contributions. The gradual evolution of composite and cosmopolitans culture led to the emergence of a spirit of tolerance and catholicity of outlook, which still persist among the people of Kerala. Its history unfolds the romantic and fascinating story of a unique process of cultural synthesis and social assimilation. In response to every challenge Kerala has demonstrated through the ages its genius for adaptation and fusion of old traditions and new values in every sphere of human thought and endeavour.
The culture of Kerala has persisted through the ages precisely for the reasons of antiquity, unity, continuity and universality of its nature. In its widest sense it embraces the highest achievements of the human spirit in every sphere of life. Thus, in its totality, it represents the quintessence of the collective achievements of a people in the fields of religion and philosophy, language and literature, art and architecture, education and learning and economic and social organisation. In fact, all through its history the genius of Kerala has blossomed forth in all its vigour and vitality and has helped its people to reach the peak of excellence in all their endeavours.