‘Mudiyettu’ is a temple art of Kerala. It is performed by the sect’ Kurup’ and ‘Marar’. The story depicted is of ‘Darika Vadham’. 12 to 20 participants are required to present it. ‘Kalamezhuthu’, ‘Thalappoli’, Prathishtapooja’, ‘Kalam Maykal’ etc.. are the main procedures of ‘Mudiyettu’. ‘Arangukeli’, ‘exodus of Darikan and Kali’, the war between Darikan and Kali are the contents of the story. In the year 2010 this art form was included into the list of ancient art forms.
Shiv, Narad, Kali, King of Rakshasa, Danavendran, Kooli, Koimbidar are the characters. They keep their steps and act according to a song which tells the story of war between Darika and Kali. Inside the decorated pandal Kali draws the kalam with five colours. After the kalam, kalam pattu, thalappoli and thiriyuzhichil the kalam will be erased. Mudiyettu begins after this with Narad informing Shiv about the hardships of mankind by Darika and Darnvendra. Following this Darikan enters and then Kali and Kooli. The presents Kali’s kaliyilakal, Kali shamippikkal, competition between Koimbidar and percussionists, comedy of kool, beheading of Darika by Kali. These are the main episodes of this folktale.
Chenda and ilaththalam are the main instruments. Nilavilakku, theevetti and pantham are used for lighting. It has some similarity with Chakyar koothu and Kathakali. Travancore and Kochi are the main centers.
Actors colour their face and have crowns and special attire. Kali’s face is decorated with a mixure of lime and rice flour. Kali has a large crown made of wood or metal called Mudi. The name Mudiyettu might have thus evolved.