Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Kakkarissi Natakam

Kakkarissi Natakam is a folk art form popular in Central Travancore. This muscial dance drama has a peculiar structure. The protagonist in most of the plays is known as Sundara Kakaan. Besides there are other characters like Kakkathis, Vedan etc. The handsome Sundara Kakaan is the representative of the Kakkala community (a nomadic tribe of fortune-tellers). With dance steps and songs, they perform on stage. Scenes are enacted with dialogues, music and songs as in the erstwhile musical plays. The instruments used are Harmonium, Mrudangam, Ganchira and Kaimani.

The play opens with a welcome song. Then enters the Kakkalan. He comes with a fire – torch raised. He dances to rhythmic beats. ‘Thampuran’ will be seated on the stage as the questioner. The question – answer session between the ‘Thampuran’ and kakkalan moves the play forward. The play progresses with song and dance.

The Kakkarissi Natakam depicts social criticism, satire etc.

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