Oppana the unique Muslim wedding dance in Kerala

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Oppana is a dance form practiced among Mappilas (the muslims) of Kerala. The term Oppana is supposed to be originated from Arabic word Affna – means two hands are stretched to one side and closing the palms together

History of Oppana

  1. The special type of play in connection with the marriage of Arabic ladies could have influenced Oppana

Costumes of Oppana

  1. Women dancers wear traditional Muslim attire of Kachi Mundu, Thattam , Blouse
  2. Bangles, necklaces, mehndi,rings, kajol etc are used

Music and instruments used for Oppana

  1. Musical instruments used are :
    1. Harmonium
    2. Tabla
    3. Ganjira and
    4. Elathaalam
  2. The rhythm and song has been evolved from Mappila community
  3. Clapping of hands also add to the music
  4. The content of songs include birth and early life of prophet Mohammed

Techniques in Oppana

  1. The bride is seated in a chair in the center
  2. The maids dance around the bride teasing her
  3. Leader starts singing oppana chal and it is repeated by others.
  4. Once singers start Oppana Murukkam ,clapping start
  5. The singers are supplied with betel leaf and oppana performance ends

Where to see Oppana

  1. It’s common in Muslim weddings in Kerala
  2. Now other than weddings, it can be seen at  circumcision and ear boring ceremonies etc
  3. Can also be seen in Youth festivals as a competition item

Photo courtesy: By Shagil Kannur – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85805504

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