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Paampu Attam or Snake Dance – Tamil Nadu


What is Paampu Attam or Snake Dance?

In southern region and in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a folk dance known as Paampu Attam is very famous and is widely performed by the rural folk women. This dance form is even recognized as Snake dance and has been originated from the reputation of snake which is considered as a protective divinity. Moreover this dance art is done especially by the rural women who consider this dance art as a form of protecting and safeguarding the happiness and health of them.



Paampu Attam dance is well known in its state Tamil Nadu and is widely performed by the young rural women. This dance art has been originated by the rural folks who consider snake as an important part in their life. Also these people treat snake as a Hindu deity Murugan. Furthermore this folk dance form of Tamil Nadu is usually executed by the young girls who almost dress themselves in tight fitting skinny costumes. The dress more of look like a snake skin dress and even the movements done in the dance are basically similar as the snake do.


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Usually performed by young girls, much like Mayil Attam dance, Paampu Attam is performed wearing costumes that resemble the snake-skin. The movement of the dance imitates a serpent’s movement. The dancers put on tight fitting skinny costumes and enact steps as writhing, creeping and quick biting like a snake. The intricate movements are performed by the hand twisting, moving and also through the head. The dance demands a great deal of flexibility and only professionals who are trained in this art form can perform this intensely vigorous art form. Dancers create the hood of cobra by holding their hands together in a stylized way. Their body language emulates a snake’s graceful and poised attributes which serve as the main purpose of Paampu Attam. Their gestural eloquence matches the discreet animal’s movement and style and the beautiful performance never fails to amaze its spectators.



Costume plays an integral part in Paampu Attam. The clothing and make up are done maintaining a close affinity to a snake’s appearance. The alluring paampu attam is a unique ensemble of exquisite poses, elegant costumes and skillfully executed art form cultivated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu since ancient times. The dance is still preserved in its vivacious structure and it is still praised as an amusing entertainment among the rural womenfolk who practice Paampu Attam with tremendous tenacity and craftsmanship. The dance is also a typical display of the age-old tradition of snake-worship, a faith that is imbibed in South-Indian culture since pre-historic times.


Paampu Attam or Snake Dance Video

Paampu Attam or Snake Dance is one of the most famous folk dances of Tamil Nadu. Here is the Paampu Attam or Snake Dance Video.



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