P. K. Narayanan Nambiar



Born on 26 May 1927 in Killikkurussimangalam village, Kerala, Shri P. K. Narayanan Nambiar trained in Koothu and Kutiyattam under his father Shri Mani Madhava Chakyar and acquired mastery over the Mizhavu — the percussion instrument for Kutiyattam — as a student of Shri Kochampilli Raman Nambiar and Shri Meledath Govindan Nambiar. He learnt Sanskrit from Sarvashri Panisseri Sankaran Namboodiripad and Kizhiyapati Sankaran. Since the age of 11 Shri Narayanan Nambiar has performed in the major temples of Kerala and in important cities in the country and abroad. Though equally proficient in Koothu, Kutiyattam and Pathakam, he is regarded as the foremost guru in the Mizhavu. From 1966 to 1988 Shri Nambiar taught at Kerala Kalamandalam, where he developed a system of training in the Mizhavu and a playing style which is now widely followed. All the leading Mizhavu artists of the younger generation are his disciples. He is the author of important works on Kutiyatt- am and Nangiar Koothu includ- ing a treatise on Kutiyattam talas and a book on Manthrankam — an act from Bhasa’s Pratigya Yougandhara-yana. Shri Narayanan Nambiar was honoured with the Kerala Kalamandalam Award in 1985, the Guruvayurappan Award in 1993, and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 1994. Shri P.K. Narayanan Nambiar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contri- bution to Kutiyattam as a Mizhavu-player and guru.