Kattaikkuttu, also called Terukkuttu, a theater of ritual and entertainment, is a popular one in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu
. The name 'Kattaikkuttu' is derived from the special ornaments called 'kattai' (kattai camankal), worn by a specific category of heroic characters called 'kattai veshams.' The theater has different forms and sub-styles according to the places where it is performed; it is performed on the occasion of a Hindu religious festival, a funeral or a special celebration in a village.
Kattaikkuttu, a combination of song, music, dance and drama is performed in auditoriums and in the open-air during the night and lasts from 10 pm to 6 am the next morning. The south Indian system of Carnatic music, rhythmical patterns and melodies are normally used in the performance. The orchestra accompanying the players consists of a Harmonium, two drums, a mukavinai and two sets of hand cymbals. Kattaikkuttu employs sophisticated makeup and costumes rich in colour.
Kattaikkuttu has a close association with the social, economic, religious and communicative domains of contemporary village life. Earlier it was only performed by men, but now women are also involved.