What are the lesser known art forms of Chakyar Koothu?

Chakyar Koothu for generations has been performed by the traditional family of Chakyars. Chakyar and Nangiars are two particular communities of Kerala that have developed their lives to the propagation and promotion of this unique performing art. The artiste is attired in a strange style that symbolises a bird, and gives a comic touch to the personality of the artiste. The artiste is known as a court jester or vidhushak who has a distinct role to perform.

While narrating varied stories from epics, the performer also portrays, enacts and narrates various ills of the society that need to be corrected for the betterment and welfare of the people. During the days of royal patronage, it was not easy for common people to reach the king; hence they would face several problems regarding their survival, and were exploited by rich landlords or feudal lords. Hence this art form was used as a social corrective, so as to attract the attention of the king. While narrating the stories with wit and humour, they would also be related to contemporary society and at times make fun of people from the audience in a different context. While Chakyar Koothu is performed by men, Nangiar Koothu is performed by women.


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