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Sugriva in Balivadham Kutiyattam

Shown in the video is Sugriva, a character from the popular Kutiyattam play Balivadham. The story is an excerpt from the great Indian epic Ramayana. Sugriva is the brother of Bali, the King of Kishkinda, a kingdom of monkeys. The brothers are at loggerheads and Sugriva approaches Lord Rama for help.

In the end, Bali and Sugriva engage in a fight and the former is killed by an arrow sent by Lord Rama. Performing as Sugriva here is Margi Sajeev Narayana Chakyar.

Make-up in Kutiyattam differs according to the type of the character. Sugriva is portrayed in the ‘Thadi’ or beard make-up with headgear, tail and jacket in black colour.

Kutiyattam, the ancient Sanskrit theatre has an antiquity of over 2000 years. UNESCO has declared this theatre form as one of the oral and intangible heritages of humanity.