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  • Writer's pictureNihal

Karimchamundi : The demon which took the form of God

Karimchamundi is considered as one of the fearful gods among all other theyyam forms. Karimchamundi is usually performed at midnight surrounded only by the light of the fire. Karimchamundi is a demon that slew Mahishasura. The fable of Karimchamundi is a bit disturbing one. After transforming into a godly form, Karimchamundi was worshipped as a dryad among the people.

In the time of existence, Karimchamundi was believed to kill people, even babies to consume their blood. The demonic form took down many lives including the lives of animals. The theyyam form of Karimchamundi has a bend and will always walk leaning forward. This bend is very much related to the myth of Karimchamundi.

Years ago, in a place called ‘Payyathumala’ there lived a Muslim couple Aali and Aysha. Aysha was a pregnant woman and was nearing her delivery date. Both lived happy life, loving each other. One night, Aysha’s water broke and she was struggling with pain. Immediately Aali rushed towards the nearby town to find a nurse who could help in his wife’s delivery. The clock has struck midnight and on the way, Aali saw a beautiful lady. She convinced Aali that she was a nurse and will take good care of his wife without any fail.

In the hope to save his wife and child, Aali immediately took the lady to his house. The lady entered the chamber and closed the door. Even after hours, Aali could only hear his wife screaming and there was no sign of his baby’s cry. Gradually Aysha’s cry became feeble and stopped all at once. Confused Aali broke open the door, and saw a sight that no husband could bear. The demon has cut open his wife’s belly and was drinking her hot blood.

With furious anger, Aali kicked the demon with all his strength. With a roaring sound, the demon ran out of the house and Aali followed her. On the way, Aali thrashed the demon with an iron rod. With the injury on her head, the demon screamed such that the whole village shook with terror. Turning into a livid form, the demon took Aali and flew on top of ‘ezhilam paala’. From there it ripped his throat, drank all his blood, and threw the residue below the tree.

Even after killing Aali, the quench for retaliation remained in the demon. The residents in the area quailed after this incident. The death pattern continued in the coming days and to put an end to this, people approached the chief (naaduvazhikal) and begged for help. Naaduvazhikal performed some rituals and found a solution for this. They made a temple and placed the demon as their diety. From there, the demon took godly form and today Karimchamundi is worshipped as a god.

While performing Karimchamundi theyyam, Aali will also be a part. One of the theyyam artists imitates Aali and kicks the theyyam in reference to the myth. After the kick, the theyyam is found to crawl on the ground and perform the rest of the rituals crawling.

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