Kolattam is an ancient village art which is performed by women only, with two sticks held in each hand, beaten to make a rhythmic sound. The stick provides the main rhythm and this dance is performed during village festivals.Traditionally, the Kolattam festival is associated with the harvesting season ( October/November) . After sowing paddy, millet and red gram the women sing and dance for the next few days. The kolattams and the pinal kolattam are danced during the festival celebrating the Karthiga season.
The Kolattam is a combination of rhythmic movements, songs and music.The age group of dancers varies from 8 to 40 and are performed by 8 to 40 artists grouped in pairs.. The artists led by the leader move into two circles moving in and out .The inner circle groups receives the strikes while the outer circle delivers them according to the rhythm of the sticks.The sound /rhythm of the sticks are itself a music to hear .
Another dance known as Pinnal Kolattam is danced with ropes which the women hold in their hands, the other of which are tied to a tall pole. With planned steps, the women skip over each other, which forms intricate lace-like patterns in the ropes. As coloured ropes are used, this lace looks extremely attractive. Again, they unravel this lace reversing the dance steps. This is performed for ten days, starting with the Amavasi or Newmoon night after Deepavali.This is also known as pashu kolattam - a form of the kolattam dedicated to Kamadhenu the celestial cow of plenty
Kolatam offers a great variety of entertainment to the spectators as well as the dancers.They cheer while they dance.