CHENNAI:The Union Government has moved the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) in Chennai, seeking GI tag for ‘Palakkad Maddalam’ a classical music instrument, which reportedly originated centuries ago in Kerala.
P Mallikarjuna, Regional Director (Southern Region), Development Commissioner (Handicraft), Union Ministry of Textiles in his petition to the registry, submitted that Kerala houses over 30 verities of drums and ‘Maddalam’ is one among them.
Over the centuries, Maddalams were made in Palakkad district of Kerala. Peruvembu in Palakkad district has been considered as a prime production centre for Maddalams, he added.
In the past wood from karungali (Ebony) tree and chempakam (Magnolia champaca) tree were used for making it. As these trees are no longer available, jack wood logs are being used for making the instrument. “Palakkad Maddalam is a national heritage and socially and culturally attached to artisans. It also contributes immensely to the economic development of the country,” he said.
GI tag for the instrument would help stakeholders from any infringement and provide them ownership right as well. At the same time, the protection under Geographical Indication Act 1999 will protect the consumers from infringed products and hence, he sought the registry to provide GI tag for the instrument. GIR has admitted the application.