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Kerala tourism Guide



The duff or the drum is a percussion instrument made of wood and the sides with ox shin. Duffmuttu songs are sung by praising the Islamic heroes and martyrs and the tempo of the song is controlled by the beats of the duff. The performers sway their bodies in a trance to the rhythmic beats of the duff.

History of Duffmuttu

Duffmuttu is a musical art form prevalent among the Muslim community in the Malabar region of Kerala. This entertainment art form is performed during festivals and occasions connected with Mosques, nuptial ceremonies, weddings and social entertainment. The origin of Duffmuttu can be traced back to the holy city of Medina. It is believed that it was prevalent before the birth of Prophet Mohammed mainly used to welcome dignitaries. In Kerala it originated in Kozhikode district and popularized by Syed Ahmed Musaliar who is of Yemini origin. He started a gurukulam about 130 years and teaches people free of cost and the present teacher is Koya Kappad.

How to perform

Duffmuttu is performed by six members who sit or stand facing each other by singing songs about Islamic heroes and martyrs. The leader sings and others give chorus and play the Duff with their fingers or palms and the dancers often toss the duff over their heads along with a unique and rhythmic dance steps.

Famous artists from kerala

  • Syed Ahmed Musaliar of Alassam Veettil Tharavadu.
  • Koya Kappad fourth generation from Alassam Veettil Tharavadu.

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