The magic of abhinaya in Kutiyattam
Kutiyattam is one of the most prominent surviving theatrical art forms in the tradition of Sanskrit theatre. Kutiyattam means ‘combined acting’. A Kutiyattam performance can be in two ways: several actors coming on to the stage to present different characters or a single actor presenting all the characters in the same costume.
Kutiyattam is performed in traditional temple theatres called Koothambalams. Sanskrit is the main narrative language but Vidushaka or jester narrates acts in Malayalam.
The UNESCO has declared it as one of the 19 masterpieces among the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
There are different types of costumes in which each character are portrayed. The Pacha (green) for noble characters, Pazhukka (light red) for noble and heroic characters, Kathi (knife) for valorous but vicious characters, Thaadi (beard) for the three monkey characters, Minukku (gloss) for simple and female characters, Kari (black) for demonesses like Surpanaka.