Nangiar Koothu


Nangiar Kuthu or Nangyar Koothu is an allied traditional art of Kutiyattam, an age-old Sanskrit drama tradition of India. It is performed traditionally by the women, a solo performance of the Ambalavasi Nambiar community of Kerala, known as Nangyaramma, Only `Nangiar,' the wife of `Chakyar' could perform this art form, which was once considered to be part of the rituals in a temple. The acting manual was in Sanskrit.

The stories for the performance are taken from the text Sree Krishna Charitam, depicting the life of Lord Krishna. During the performance the actress presents the longwinded stories of Lord Krishna through hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to the accompaniment of the resonant pot drum mizhavu.

The solo actress (nangiar) who narrates the story by means of hand gestures (Mudras), facial expressions, cymbals and verses in Sanskrit, accompanied by musicians on mizhavu (a large copper drum), edakka (a small drum played with a stick), and kuzhithalam (a small cymbals).