Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Pullonveena is an instrument used for serpent-worship. It is also refered to as `Pulluva veena’. The instrument has two parts – kinnam (bronze plate) and thanttu (stalk).

The ‘thandu’ is made of jackwood or rosewood. There is a round portion at its end, which is fixed on top of the ‘kinnam’. The ‘Kinnam is made of the root of ‘kumkumam. The face of the ‘kinnam’ is covered with hide.

The pullonveena is played by a stick made of arecanut tree. Thread is used in the place of string. The kinnam is rested on the shoulder holding the head of the instrument with the left hand, using the right hand with the stick (stalk) the veena is played. When the stick (kol) rubs against the threads, sound is produced. At the end of the stick are chilankas. When these chilankas move, a rhythmic beat is produced. Pullonveena is not a complete musical instrument. Only some ragas and swaras can be played on this instrument.

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