Pavai Koothu



  • (Tamil: Woman Play) A type of glove-puppet theater performedin the city of Thiruchendoor, Tamil Nadu, India. It is thought tohave originated in the 16th century. The foot-tall puppets have papier-mâchéheads and arms and wear simple cloth costumes festooned with paperor coconut fibre. The manipulator sits behind a wooden box that hideshim from the audience's view. An idakka drummer and a singerprovide music selected from regional folk melodies.

    The plot concerns Vali, a female attendant of the Hindu godSiva, and her love for his son Subramanya. Vali was born to a deerin the forest and raised by a hunter and his wife. Narada sees herone day in the forest and describes her beauty to Subramanya, whodisguises himself as a seller of bangles to enter the hunter's cottage.He lures Vali away and reveals his divine form to her. They embracewith the blessings of Ganesh, the god of good fortune.