Koodiyattam is a traditional performing artform from Kerala, India. Recognised by UNESCO as a Human Heritage Art, this form of Sanskrit drama is considered to be at least 2000 years old.Kulasekhara Varma Cheraman Perumal, an ancient King of Kerala is known as the creator of Koodiyattam in the present form, and his Aattaprakaram is considered as the most authoritative publication on the art form.
Traditionally, Koodiyattam has been presented by Chakyars . The name Koodiyattam as its name suggests is a combined performance of Chakyar and Nangyar. Traditionally Mizhavu, a special percussion instrument was the the only instrument used in Koodiyattam performances. Off late Edakka, another traditional drum has also been used as accompaniment.Chakyar is the main actor who performs the ritualistic Koothu and Koodiyattam inside the temple or in the Koothambalam. Their women ,Illotammas are not allowed to participate. The female roles are done by ladies of Nambiar community called Nangyaramma.Traditionally, a person belonging to Nambiar plays the Mizhavu. Nangyaramma accompany Nambiar with kuzhithalam(a type of cymbal).