Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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Aishwarya Manivannan: The Tamil Martial Art of Silambam in a Saree

On “National Handloom Day”, celebrated on August 7th in India, Aishwarya Manivannan a Tamil Nadu based artist, designer & practitioner of Silambattam released a video celebrating her love for Silambam & Handloom. Dressed in a cotton saree, Aishwarya showcases Tamil Nadu’s traditional martial art form and the versatitlity of the saree.

Silambam or Silambattam is a weapon-based South-Indian martial art from Tamil Nadu, but also traditionally practised by the Tamil community of Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It is closely related to Keralan kalaripayat and Sri Lankan angampora. It derives from the Tamil word silam meaning “hill” and the word perambu from which the English “bamboo” originates. The term silambambu referred to a particular type of bamboo from the Kurinji hills in present-day Kerala. Thus silambam was named after its primary weapon, the bamboo staff. The related term silambattam often refers specifically to stick-fighting.