What is Ottamthullal?

Ottamthullal is a highly stylized type of performing art from south India especially Kerala. Kunjan Nambiar (He is from Palakkad, South India) is the father of Ottamthullal. He was veritable genius and one of the foremost Malayalam poets of South India. Actually it is an alternative to the Chakyar koothu. He created this art in 18th century. But later It went on to become the most popular folk art presented in Kerala temples and public places. Once Jawaharlal Nehru said that, the Ottamthullal was the Kathakali of poor people!. Ottamthullal is very satirical touch. Ottamthullal performing artist has the freedom to improvise and incorporate humour. For Ottamthullal, the instruments used are the cymbals and the Maddalam. It has a mostly single actor, donning attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes and detailed gestures and and reciting the lyrics of Thullal songs. The performing artist of Thullal acting and dancing himself simultaneously. Ottamthullal is of three types. That is Parayanthullal, Ottanthullal and Seetankanthullal. It is based on the difference in rhyme and the metre of the Ottamthullal songs,thullal dances and costume.