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Pulikali is a traditional art form of Kerala that involves performers painting their bodies to resemble tigers and dancing to the beats of traditional instruments. The word 'Pulikali' means 'play of tigers' in Malayalam, the native language of Kerala. This vibrant art form is primarily performed during the annual Onam festival in Kerala.

Pulikali is believed to have originated in the 18th century and has since become an important part of Kerala's cultural heritage. The performers, mostly men, spend hours getting ready, painting intricate tiger stripes on their bodies, and wearing traditional costumes. The dance is accompanied by percussion instruments like chenda and thakil, adding to the overall excitement and energy of the performance.

Pulikali is not just a form of entertainment, but also serves as a social commentary, often depicting themes like environmental conservation and social issues. The popularity of Pulikali has spread beyond Kerala, attracting tourists from all over the world, making it an important cultural export for the state.

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