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Serpent as the storyteller

  • Serpent as the storyteller

    Summary: Apart from Chakyar Koothu, it is the main accompanying instrument in Koodiyattom and Nangiyar Koothu. References to Koodiyattom and Chakyar Koothu are found in ancient Sangam literature and also in the epigraphs belonging to the Pallava, Chera and Chola periods. Watching Chakyar Koothu at the Ernakulathappan Temple in Ernakulam was a treat. Chakyar Koothu is performed as a solo narrative act and the performer wears a distinct headgear resembling the snake’s hood to signify that the story is being told by Anantha, the thousand-headed serpent. While members of the Chakyar community are the traditional performers of this art form, the Ambalavasi Nambiars are the mizhavu players.

    Watching Chakyar Koothu at the Ernakulathappan Temple in Ernakulam was a treat. The major instruments that accompanied the performance of this traditional art form were mizhavu and ilatalam. The presiding deity here is Lord Siva, who is in Gaurisankara form , As Reported By Hindu.

    According to the Newspaper,The Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum is swayambu (worshipped by Arjuna as Kirthamurty). Chakyar Koothu is performed as a solo narrative act and the performer wears a distinct headgear resembling the snake’s hood to signify that the story is being told by Anantha, the thousand-headed serpent. Koothambalam is the place where it is performed. After the mizhavu player performs Mizhavanakkal to announce the performance, the Chakyar recites the story based on ‘Champu Prabandha,’ which is a combination of prose and poetry. While members of the Chakyar community are the traditional performers of this art form, the Ambalavasi Nambiars are the mizhavu players. Mizhavu is said to be one of the largest percussion instruments belonging to this region. Apart from Chakyar Koothu, it is the main accompanying instrument in Koodiyattom and Nangiyar Koothu.

    Source: http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/mizhavu-is-a-sacred-instrument-that-accompanies-chakyar-koothu-performances/article19845862.ece


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