This is a rare element of temple architecture found in the Malabar region of northern Kerala; the Kannur district to be precise. The region is closely associated with the history and performance of theyyam ritual dance or invocation. Theyyam is traditionally performed before the temple; it is performed with the intention of attracting more people to the temple. These temples follow the traditional Kerala kavu style of architecture, their gables decorated with naga, makara, simha heads accompanied by various theyyam figures. A similar gable can be found at the Muthappan Temple in Parassinikkadavu, Kannur district.This object is associated with the roots of one of the early migrant Indian communities in Singapore and Malaya; the Malayalees, who are the second largest ethnic group in the Indian community in Singapore. The Malayalee community migrated to parts of Southeast Asia from the late 19th century; the Singapore Malayalee Association was established in 1917. Malayalees in Singapore and Malaya were active in the civil and teaching service, rubber plantations (as clerical staff) as well as in politics.

Date/Period
20th century
Region
Kerala, South India
Dimension
refer to parts
Accession No.
2014-00534
Material
Wood
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Category
Woodcarving