Ninabali is a ritual art form popular in Kerala's Kannur and Kozhikode districts. People would sponsor the dance to ward off evils and for fertility. The theme of Ninabali is the mythical fight between goddess Bhadrakali and demon Darika. The ritual is performed at Bhadrakali shrines and Kottam - the designated places in villages where the Theyyam ritual is performed. The ritual is staged under decorated marquees in the evenings. Small branches of local trees 'Pala' (Blackboard tree) and Kanjiram (Snakewood tree) and fruiting banana plants are used for decorating the marquee. Before the performance, avil (rice flake), malar (puffed rice), sarkara (jaggery), ilaneer (tender coconut) and honey in small quantities, will be placed together, on a banana leaf.

The orchestra for ninabali are one thavil, a barrel-shaped drum and three chenda, cylindrical drum. The performance begins with Darika entering the stage with a torch on his hand. He would make rhythmic steps, roar and challenge Bhadrakali for a fight. When he leaves, Bhadrakali enters. She would pay obeisance to her clan deities and engage in a fight with the Darika. In the end, she kills Darika and drinks his blood.

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