Music from India

Kaliya Mardhanam, Pulluvan Pattu

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  • Type


  • Duration


  • Cultures

    Kerala (Malayalee)

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 27

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Manapadi, Trichur district, Kerala.

  • Performers

    Sudheer M.A. (singer, pulluvan vina), Ambujam (singer, female, pulluvan kudam)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    ‘Kaliya Mardhanam’, the destruction of the snake’s pride, is a piece belonging to the pulluvan pattu vocal genre. Members of the Pulluvan community perform the snake rituals and are therefore respected as experts in singing and playing the serpent songs. For the people of Kerala the divine snakes are the guardian angels of the land and its people. The pullavan vina is a small fiddle., Three bronze plates attached to the grip of the bow indicate the beat of the piece. The pulluvan kudam is a stringed instrument, which is plucked with a plectrum. It has a single string attached to a section of calfskin that is stretched through the centre of an earthenware pot. By pulling the string the player varies its tension, to give different pitches Sudheer M.A. plays the pulluvan vina and sings, Ambujam, the mother of Sudheer, plays the pulluvan kudam and sings. They sing in the south Indian language Malayalam.

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