Kerala is a treasure land of varied art forms ranging from tribal arts on the one end to the art forms of experimental theatres on the other. With the wide ranging cultural, social and religious practices.Kerala presents a mosaic of traditional art forms from the very simple to the highly stylized and intricate ones. Bonded by a firm social fabric, natured and patronized by chieftains and royal families, the art forms of both the upper classes and the down- trodden alike had a golden past in Kerala.How ever, with the dismemberment of the feudal system and the social upsurge of the lower classes, some of the art form lost its patronage and had gone into oblivion.
For ages, the rich and vibrant culture of Kerala has intrigued people world wide. The songs and dances of the people, their ballads, their rituals and their intellectual pursuits. Truly, the real treasures of Kerala lay in the cultural heritage of its people. From the renowned Kathakali, considered to be the complete art form as it synthesis all that is best in the fields of drama, music and dance, to the folk dances which are reflections of the rhythmic impulses of a sensitive people.
Recently, the UNESCO brought to light, a less known art form- Koodiyattam- and declared it as one among the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. It is for the first time in the history of UNESCO that select art forms across the world have been given this recognition as part of its effort to safeguard expressions of oral heritage and traditional culture which are in danger of disappearing due to the effects of globalization.