Kalakkathu Kunchan Nambiar was an early Malayalam language poet, performer, satirist and the inventor of local art form Ottamtullal. He is often considered as the master of Malayalam satirist poetry.
Kunchan Nambiar spent his early childhood at Killikkurussimangalam, his boyhood at Kudamalur and youth at Ambalappuzha. In 1748 he moved to the court of King Marttanda Varma of Travancore Kingdom and later to the court of his successor Dharma Raja. He had already written several of his works before leaving Aluva. Scholars like Mani Madhava Chakyar have the opinion that he and the Sanskrit poet Rama Pānivāda are the same. ("Pānivāda" means "Nambiar" in Sanskrit).
The chief contribution of Kunchan Nambiar is the popularization of a performing art known as Tullal. The word literally means "dance", but under this name Nambiar devised a new style of verse narration with a little background music and dance-like swinging movement to wean the people away from the Chakyar Kuttu, which was the art form popular till then.
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