Mannan Koothu is a ritual art form associated with the Mannan tribe. Kovilmalakkudi in Kerala's Idukki district is the seat of the Mannan tribe. The community has a king and the koothi is staged on occasions like his crowning, post-funeral rites and as part of harvest festival. It is also performed as a thanksgiving for the Maladaivangal (hill gods) and kuladaivangal (clan gods).

When a koothu is scheduled it will be communicated to all families in the area. The dancers have to observe vrutha (a way of living that involves restrictions on certain foods and other activities) at least for seven days. There would be special poojas and offerings before the clan deity on the morning of koothu day. All community members would gather at the venue to watch the whole-night performance.

Women performers are a rarity. These rare performers would be old women. Most of the time it would be men who stage women characters. The language is "Mannan Pechu' indegenous to that community. The literature of kutthupattu or song has its origin in "Silappadikaram'', the earliest Tamil epic penned by Ilango Adikal. The percussion instruments are Mathaalam, a drum, and Charal, a cymbal. Performers will have face and body make-up and the costume includes leaves and creepers.

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