Duffumuttu- An Ancient Art form of Kerala

Kerala the land of magnificent wonders captivates people across the globe. I really don’t know how the state lying at the southern portion of the country became so famous in the world. It may be because the state is enriched with fantastic resources of nature that could not be seen in any other parts of the world. There was a time when people hesitate to visit the state because of the underrated superstitions. Even though the whole nation was governed by the superstitions Kerala has seen the extreme level of it that propelled the famous reformer called Swami Vivekananda describe the state as an ‘asylum’. As everybody knows the famous saying ‘After every fall there is a rise’ the state after several reformations gradually grew into one of the luring states in Kerala. The state started focusing on the enhancement of economic stability. They focused more on the tourism and hospitality sector. People especially who were physically weak rely on the Ayurveda treatments available in Kerala. And this is how the foreigner started visiting Kerala and eventually the state became one of the most amazing tourist destinations in the world. But is the scenic nature and emerald surroundings alone that attract the people from various corners of the world more than that the amusing unique cultural and traditional art forms also plays a major role in promoting the state’s tourism. The state is well-known for its eccentric art forms such as Mohiniyattom, Duffmuttu, Ottan Thullal, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Ramanattam, Theyyam, Pulikkali and so on. Although the state is stepping towards progress it still nurtures its ancient traditional forms and displays to the visitors who visit the state by availing of family tour packages. It would be absolutely wrong if I say that the state completely protects its ancient art forms. Due to several circumstances many of the art forms disappeared from the earth. Even though the state comprises large number of Hindus it never forgets to respect other religions that are seen in minor numbers. One of the most famous and luring religious dance form of Muslim community is Duffmuttu or it is also known as Arabanamuttu. The dance form was once widely practised by the Muslim people on their special occasions and festivals. But now it is learnt by other communities as part of their school and college festivals. What makes the Duffmuttu so attractive and luring is the high rhythm and peculiar and fantastic way of holding the musical instrument. There are many more intriguing facts related to the mind-blowing art form called Duffmuttu. So just slide down the following paragraphs and learn more about it.


DUFF_MUT_nature of kerala

Famously known as Arabanamuttu, Duffumuttu is the unique art form of Muslim widely seen in the shores of Kerala and Medina. There is no proper evidence of how and when the art form was formed. But many people believe that Duffmuttu was formed even before the birth of the prophet Mohammed Nabi. The exact birthplace of the Duffmuttu is Saudi Arabia and in Kerala, it is the Malabar region by Syed Ahmed Musliar. He belongs to Yemen. In Kozhikode, he started a gurukul where he teaches the students for free. Now the school is run by Koya Kappad.

 How the Duffmuttu is played?


Duffumuttu is an art form played by a group of 6 to 8 members standing in ‘U’ shaped or ‘Semi-circular shape’. The dance is usually performed by male but now under some parts females have started to practise the same. For the dance, the participants use a drum made out of wood and animal skin of either goat or ox. The instrument is popularly known as ‘Thapitta’ or ‘Dubh’. They carry this musical instrument and drum it at frequent times in accordance with the traditional Arabic song. Instead of traditional Arabic song now it has been replaced with any Islamic song. The songs are based on the true incidents and stories of martyrs and religious leaders of Muslim. It is the leader who sings the song and the participants recite it and play the duff. There is no wonder if one says Duffumuttu is a form of acrobatic dance. The performers in it imitate several steps of the acrobat. They mainly practise either freehand styles or raise their feet back and forth or do body stoops. Most of the dance steps include either clapping the duff or beating it. Sometimes the members form a group and at other times they get separated. Not only have they adopted steps from acrobat dance but also from football! Just like footballers the duffumuttu player jump and touch each other’s hearts.  The participants are seen in two rows and when one row stands in still position the other row joins them showcasing that there is no barrier. Not only they rely on football steps but also on the steps of Karate. The participants wear white kurtha and white dhothi with and a cloth tied on their forehead. The duffumuttu can be played at any place at any time. In someplace, people practise it as part of worshipping the Allaha. Nowadays in many places, Duffumuttu is played in wedding ceremonies or other important family occasions. As aforementioned several dance forms in various parts of the world vanished, therefore, to protect it the government of Kerala decided to inculcate the same in school and college kalotsavam or arts festival.  As part of it, state-level competitions are also held. In other parts, Duffumuttu is also played as a stage show.

From the above paragraphs, one might have learnt the basic information about the stupendous and captivating art form of Kerala called Duffumuttu. So on your next trip to Kerala do not forget to witness the glowing charm of Duffumuttu. Hundreds of travellers along with their family avail of tour packages to enjoy the beguiling beauty of the state. There are many travel operators in the state that curate amazing packages for the globetrotters and one among them is Gogeo Holidays. They curate packages to travellers hailing from Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and other parts of the country. They also accept request from international travellers.

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