Monday 25 May, 2020

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Something about the Muslim Art form Oppana

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Opana is one of the most festive celebrations of the Muslims mainly in Malabar. At the wedding, the relatives of the bride perform with the bridesmaids dance around bride is Oppana. The main dancer in the group is sing Mappila song. The songs are written in a form that describes the sweetness of marriage.

 The Malayalam word 'Oppana Pattu' is the derivation of the Tamil word 'Oppanai Pattu'. In Tamil, 'Oppanai' means make up. Oppana was originated on the occasion of make of Muslim brides. Oppana is extinct in Tamil Nadu. Oppana is generally presented by females, numbering about fifteen, including musicians, on a wedding day. The bride dressed in all finery, covered with gold ornaments and her palms and feet adorned with an intricately woven pattern of mylanchi (henna), sits amidst the circle of dancers. She is the chief spectator sitting on a peetam (chair), around which the singing and dancing take place. While they sing, they clap their hands rhythmically and move around, the bride using simple steps. Two or three girls begin the songs and the rest join in chorus.

Sometime Oppana is also presented by males to entertain the bridegroom. It usually takes place just before the bridegroom leaves for the bride's residence where the Nikah (marriage) takes place or at the time he enters the Maniyara.[3]

Harmonium, tabla, ganjira and elathaalam are the musical instruments employed for this performance. Only the Mappilapaattu will be sung on the occasion.

The word Oppana may have been derived from an Arabic form, Afna. There are two types of Oppana, one is Oppana chayal and another is Oppana murukkam. When Oppana chayal is performed, they do not clap their hands. If it begins with Chayal it would also end with Chayal only.

Oppana is mainly religion based art form. . But in Kerala, this art form has been revived with much popularity on the performing stages of the Youth Festivals of the student community.

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