Channaar Musicians 19th century

Ezhava/Channar Musicians from the 19th century: Performing the traditional "Villadichaampattu"

Villu Paatu (or 'Bow Song' as translated in English, Villu means Bow) also known as Villadichampattu is an ancient form of musical story-telling art of South Kerala and Kanyakumari district and in Thovalai of Tamil Nadu. This art form is poular among Nadar and Ezhava caste of erstwhile Travancore Kingdom.

Bow, the age-old weapon of warriors - paradoxically lends itself to be used as a primary musical instrument for the Villu Pattu artists.

There are also Udukku, Kudam, Thala, Kattai, which are used as supplementary instruments in performances. Udukkuis a small drum with a slender middle portion which is held in the left hand and played by the fingers of the right hand. Occasionally, the Villu Pattu team divides itself into two groups, each trying to prove opposite points-of-view of a subject. This is called Lavani Pattu. The songs used by the Villu Pattu artists are mostly traditional folk-songs.They are played during occasions of temple festivals in villages. The songs sung mostly in Villu Paatu praise a god or tell a story. These days the number of artists performing Villu Paatu is tremendously reduced as the income earned from it is never enough for running one's life.





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