‘Mappila Pattu’ exponent VM Kutty passes away

Kozhikode, Oct 13 (UNI): Legend of Mappila songs (popularly known as “Mappila pattu” in Malayalam), VM Kutty passed away on Wednesday at a private hospital here following heart ailment, his associate said. He was 86.

Considered an encyclopaedia of the Mappila pattu, it was Kutty who rephrased the centuries-old folk music of the Arab sailors, who reached Kozhikode for trade, into a unique Arab-Malayalam language and scripted over a thousand songs.


Born on April 16, 1935, in Pulikkal in Malappuram, Kutty quit his teaching job and immersed into research of the traditional music form for years. His scholarly work contributed to the conversion of the traditional Arab-origin music stream into a populist music form in North Kerala.

Mappila pattu has since become an integral part of the culture of the Muslim community of erstwhile Malabar region in Kerala. Kutty has contributed much to the Mappila Pattu and has written over 1,000 songs and authored many books on the music form.

Kutty won the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi award and had served as the secretary of the Institute of Mappila Studies.

He also introduced many female singers into Mappila pattu. Vilayil Valsala and Sajitha were among the popular Mappila artists of Malabar. The duet performance by Kutty and Valsala had gained much popularity among the music lovers of Malabar.

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