The variety of arts speaks in volumes the rich cultural heritage of Kasargod regions. The spectacular pageant of Theyyam deities impersonated - raises Kasargod into a land of fabulous fantasies. The symphonic melody created by Yakshgana, Kambala (buffallo race), Cock fight etc. of the Thulanad culture, thrilling along with poorakkali, Kolkali, Duff Mutt, Oppana etc. enchants the visitors.
Kasargod is a land of different languages. The languages without script are also used here. Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, Konkani, Tamil and other local languages are popular.
Communal harmony and religious tolerance are the noteworthy characteristics of the people.The Hindus, Muslims,and the Christians, live side by side, each influencing and getting influenced by the culture of the other though they speak different languages.
The major religious groups are the Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
Brahmins, Nairs, Ambalavasis, Thiyyas, Yadavas and Kammalas are the major divisions of Hindu community present in Kasargod.
The Muslims of the district are very pious and they follow rigid religious customs. The family background and daily life of the muslims are conducive to a devout life. The purdha system is observed more strictly here by Muslim women than in any other parts of the State.
The Christians dominate eastern portion in the district. They are settlers from the southern parts of Kerala. These hilly terrains are converted into rich plantations by these people.
The Theyyam or Theyyattam is a popular ritual dance of North Kerala, particularly now found in the traditional Kolathunadu, of the present Kannur and Kasargode districts. As a living cult with century old traditions, rituals and customs, it embraces almost all castes and classes of Hindu religion in this region. The term Theyyam is a corrupt form of daivam or God. It is a rare combination of dance and music and reflects important features of a tribal culture. more
The term Yakshagana would mean a style of music and it is a musical dance drama played in the open air.Yakshagana is one of the most important folk theatres of Karnataka and Kasargod which has brought fame to this region. Every village in Kasargod Taluk is familiar with this art .The sister art forms are the Terukkuthu of Tamilnadu, Koodiyatam and chakyarkuttu of Kerala, Veedhinataka of Andhra Pradesh.Yakshagana was originally known as Bayalata. The stories of Yakshagana were drawn from the Ramayana , Mahabharatha , Bhagavatha and from other mythological episodes. The main attraction of yakshagana is stage craft where characters like Gods, Demons and Sanyasis are presented in a supernatural atmosphere and the audience are carried to a world of fantasy.
One side of the stage floor Bhagavatha sits with his accompaniment. Bhagavatha is the Narrator, Director or can be called as Suthradhara. He also sings with the accompaniment of Tala(Jagate) Mridanga(Maddale), Harmonium(Shruthi) and Chakrathala. Besides high pictched 'Chende' is used in special occasions. In olden days oil lamps were used to light the stage.
The text of the yakshagana is called "Yakshagana Prasanga" which is narrated in sets of songs. These songs are set of different Ragas and Talas presented according to the "Kalas" ( Periods of night). There are about 100 ragas in yakshagana.The yakshagana is a total theatre because it has everything of a performing art. It entertains and enlighten both the learned and the illiterate.The yakshagana performances starts and ends with the prayer to Lord Ganesha.
There are about 10 troupes of Yakshagaga Bayalata in this Dist,.Some troupes have the heritage of 100 to 150 years.