For those of you who believe that Kathakali is one of India’s oldest forms of classical drama, this might surprise you.
A scene from the Nangiarkoothu performance
Nangiarkoothu, is an art form that is presented exclusively by women. Known for its elaborate depiction of ancient epics along with t he Sanskrit recitation of the story, Nangiarkoothu was once performed by the women of Kerala’s Nambiar community. These performers were also called Ambalavassikal (the people who reside in the temple’s premises).
The performer and the accompanying artist (from the left to right) – musicians playing the edakka (the drum around the shoulder), mizhaavu
It is characterised by a few traditional percussion instruments that accompany the main artist, namely the mizhavu (a giant pot with a unique covering made of calf’s skin, the edakka, and the natuvangam (tiny cymbals).