KOLLAM: Kathakali artist Chavara Parukutty Amma, 76, died owing to age-related illness at a private hospital in Chavara on Thursday. Born to N Shankaran Achary and Naniyamma, of Chekkattu Kizhakkethil, on February 12, 1943, Parukutty became a kathakali artist when women were reluctant to join the art genre.
Trained in classical dance, Parukutty turned to kathakali when she started attending pre-university at SN Women's College and later for BA Economics at Fatima Matha National College. In the last 50 years as kathakali artist, she performed female as well as male characters, along with famous artists of her time.
She had donned most costumes in kathakali, except the red beard (chuvanna thadi). Her most favourite character for performance was Kacha Devayani.
She is survived by daughter Kalamandalam Dhanya. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled her death and said she was an active female presence in kathakali for over half-a-century. Her body will be kept at Natyadharma in Chavara on Friday for the public to pay homage. The funeral will be held later.