Etymology and History of Kutiyattam

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Oct 12 04:07:12 UTC 2012

Dear Scholars,
There is a CBSE document ( ) on the Web dated September 2, 2012 which says the  following:
"The word Kutiyattam is derived from the word ‘Kuti’ which in Malayalam language primarily means ‘combined’ or ‘together’ while ‘attam’ means acting. Therefore, the word ‘Kuttiyatam‘ means combined acting."
The above document was a product of the CBSE Research & Development Unit. 
But 'Module 10 - Theatre and Drama in India' of the 'Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India' textbook edited by Kapil Kapoor and Michel Danino and probably uploaded on or after September 14, 2012 says the following on page 7. (( )
"Kuṭiyaṭṭam (or kūṭhiyaṭṭam) is derived from the Sanskrit word kūrd, meaning to ‘to play’. Kuṭiyaṭṭam, the only surviving specimen of the ancient Sanskrit theatre, remains a popular theatre form in Kerala. In May 2001, kuṭiyaṭṭam earned a rare honour when UNESCO declared it a masterpiece of human heritage to be protected and preserved. It is believed that Kulasekhara Varma Cheraman Perumal, an ancient King of Kerala, was the creator of kuṭiyaṭṭam in its present form. His book Āṭṭaprakaraṇa is considered as the most authoritative work on the art form till date."
Can anyone provide any references for this Sanskritic etymology for Kutiyattam? Also can anyone provide more details regarding this king, Kulasekhara Varma Cheraman Perumal?

Thanks in advance.



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