Attakalam is the second combat game played on the occasion of Onam. The first combat game called ‘Kayyankali’ has already been discussed. Attakalam is less dangerous and less aggressive of the two. Another difference is Attakalam is played in batches and Kayyankali is played alone.
Attakalam requires strength, dexterity and a lot of practice. Players fight and dodge each other. They go on offensive and defensive in different rounds of the combat.
Preparations for the Combat:
Since Attakalam is played in batches, two teams of equal strength and match are needed. The battleground is prepared by drawing a large circle on a plain sand floor. One team stands inside this circle while the other takes its place outside it.
Struggle for Victory:
Attakalam requires that team standing outside the circle to make an effort. The member has to pull players of inside team out of it. A player for the outside team moves inside the circle to look for his prey. This player is supposed to touch the body of an inside player. This is risky since inside team members make all efforts to stop him from doing so. They bully the challenging player and also beat him up.
Soon the challenging player manages to touch the body of a player in the inside team. There is a battle that gets restricted between those two. No other player of the inside team is allowed to touch the challenger. The caught player is given the liberty to struggle for his defense. He can also exit from the circle. In some cases, he can even strike a blow to his challenger.
Challenger succeeds in driving the caught player outside the circle. Then, the latter is considered out of the game. Similarly, combat proceeds with all the other players until no player is left in inside circle.
The game moves for its second round when the two teams exchange their places. If any player is left inside who cannot be driven out, his team is declared successful.
The audience applause while the organisers award the prize to the winning team.
All Onam Sports:
Onakalikal, Talappanthukali, Kayyankali, Attakalam, Ambeyyal, KutuKutu