Kuttar, Kūttar: 1 definition


Kuttar means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)

Kūttar refers to “actors”, representing a section of ancient Tamil society who practised the art of dance.—Caṅkam literature provides the information that the members of the royal family, along with the poets, practised the art of dancing. During the Caṅkam period, kūttar/āṭunar (actor, dancer), along with the instrumental musical experts fostered this art form.

Tolkāppiyam, in Akattiṇai, describes kūttar as “professional dancers”. By taking up kūttu as their profession, they belonged to the class of pāṇar (an ancient class of Tamil bards and minstrels), poruṇar (dancer), viṟali (female dancer), and pāṭini (songsters, women of the pāṇar caste). The kūttar were highly regarded and appreciated in the king’s court. The women folk of the kūttar, known as viṟaliyar (female dancer), sang and danced among the courtiers and were appreciated.

One of the poems in Tolkāppiyam says that the kūttar is the community of artistes which fostered together the nāṭakaviyal (dramatology) that consisted of acting and the nāṭyaviyal (techniques of dance) which consisted of dance, abhinaya (expressions) and aḍavu (movements). Along with them the field of music also flourished. There are also references to various other dances in the period of Tolkāppiyam.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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