Of temples, copper pots and rhythm – Mizhavu

Its owners have accompanied performers of one of the world’s oldest forms of musical theatre. What was once said to be an instrument played by Lord Shiva’s closest confidant, Nandi, soon became an essential element of every Nangiakoothu and Koodiyattam performance.

The Mizhavu is a unique instrument that characterised by its large size, placed in a specially designed wooden box, this copper vessel can produce sounds like none other. The mouth of this vessel is covered with calf’s skin.

Originally, the instrument was exclusively meant for the Nambiar community.

Mastering the Mizhavu takes several years of training and practice.