India | Kerala


'Mizhavu', one of the oldest of the percussion type musical instruments in the world, is indigenous to Kerala. This tall jar-shaped instrument with its narrow mouth tightly closed with leather, is an essential part of the traditional Sanskrit dance-drama performances of 'Koothu' and 'Koodiyattom.' Made of clay in olden days, Mizhavu is now made in copper. It creates a characteristic deep and resonating sound and is placed upright on a small frame before the player, who uses both hands. The community of Nambiars, a priestly class, were the traditional practitioners of the instrument while Chakyars, another similar sect, performed.

[Source History of India (2) 20-Aug-04]

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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