Matheswaran encourages his children and others in the community to play Parai (one of the oldest drums) which was considered to be played  by Pariyar community, a lower caste. Matheswaran looks at Parai as the original Tamil art form that need to be learnt and enjoyed by all. Kalaithaai identified Marabu kalaigal (native tamil arts ) and encouraged children to learn from the few masters alive.

Matheswaran looks at Parai as the original Tamil art form that need to be learnt and enjoyed by all.

Colorful Kolams drawn at every household in the community during Pongal (Harvest) festival 2017 © Balamurali Krishnan
Kalaithaai Children carrying drums to play in the Pongal (Harvest) festival 2017 © Balamurali Krishnan
Kalaithaai Students performing Karakkatam at Pongal (Harvest) festival 2017 © Balamurali Krishnan

Kalaithaai has been exploring other art forms from different parts of tamil nadu. This includes Paraiyattam, Oyilaatam, Kollatam and Karakaatam based on the nature of land from where it originates from like Kurinji, Mullai, Marudham, Neithal and Palai (four different landscape).

Project Eyam is trying to engage people with oral history of people of Tamilnadu and  through the insights of both old and young to question the mainstream perceptions and explore how this could help bring a deeper understanding about our society’s past and present. Photography and Editing by Balamurali Krishnan