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Vadakkan Pattukal (or Ballads of North Malabar) is a collection of Malayalam Ballads of medieval origin. These present saga of heroes like Aromal Chekavar, Thacholi Othenan, Kannappa Chekavar, Aromalunni and heroines like Unniyarcha. These northern ballads exemplify the heights of folk-poetry. These ballads are also sometimes associated with deities. Almost all these ballads show strong connections with Kalaripayattu. The oldest compositions do not date earlier than 16th century but their idiom and vocabulary seems older. The Malayalam used is devoid of Tamil and Sanskrit, and thus is probably closest to spoken idiom.[1][2]

The ballads cover a wide variety of themes ranging from the historical exploits of the legendary heroes of non-religious folk mythology to songs of lamentation and mourning. They are narratives full of dramatic tension: the main characters belong to the Nayar or Ezhava communities, and are distinguished for their valour, military skill and sense of honour. (Contrastingly there are few songs which do not follow this commonality. “Adirajavinte Pattukatha” has a Muslim hero in it while the hero of “Karumparambil Kannante Katha” uses not his valour but his intelligence and tricks to win over the enemies.) Family feuds often provide the background or foreground of these stories in verse. Odenan, Aromal, Unniyarcha, Komappan, Chandu, Kelu, Alikutty and Kannan are a few of the unforgettable characters who figure in these ballads.

Malayalam Movies based on Vadakkan Pattu[edit]


  1. ^ Sujit Mukherjee, A Dictionary of Indian Literature (Orient Longman Publications, 1998, ISBN 81-250-1453-5), page 406
  2. ^ Vadakkan and Thekkan Pattukal.(Sri Rama Vilasom Press, 1967), pages 128–148

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vadakkan_Pattukal — Please support Wikipedia.
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3 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:07:30 -0700

Folk songs and ballads – early ones such as Nalupadam in Yatrakali and Payyannur Pattola and those of a later date such as Vadakkan Pattukal, Thekkan Pattukal and Mappila Pattukal – expanded the lore of native culture. Ramacharitham (12th century) ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:18:45 -0800

Her one such production was 'Unniyarcha,' which is a thorough inspiration from 'Vadakkan Pattukal'. “This was an innovation of a singular kind in the field of mohiniyattam, where for the very first time elements of Kalaripayattu were incorporated into ...
The Hindu
Mon, 04 Jul 2011 04:13:42 -0700

Ponnyam, a sleepy village near Thalassery in Kannur, Kerala, boasts of the martial feats of two legendary warriors in a poithu (combat) in a distant past that still lives in the folklores of Vadakkan Pattukal (northern ballads). The fight between ...

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