Pulikali is a traditional folk art form associated with the Onam festival of Kerala. Men with tiger faces (and the other big cats) painted on their bodies wear tiger masks and cavort on the streets. Now, potbellies are usually frowned upon everywhere, but they are a prized commodity in pulikali, as the greater "bellyprint" allows for a larger canvas.
"The performers are usually fat men. The fatter, the merrier. This is the time that men with huge potbellies are in high demand in the city. For, the faces of tigers and leopards can best be drawn on big bellies and their rollicking movements will infuse more life onto the tiger and leopard faces painted on them."
That was from this newspaper report earlier this year:
The men above are in a state of partial undress. They, and other artistes, had assembled at Marine Drive for a procession during Onam this year. However, just before they set out came the tragic news of lives lost when a ferry boat sank off Fort Kochi. The celebration was canceled. The artistes took off their finery, and returned home.
Queen wrote a song called "Fat Bottomed Girls"; it's time someone did the same for fat-bellied men.
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