Nangiǎr Kūthu or Nangyar Koothu is an allied traditional art of Kutiyattam, an age-old Sanskrit drama tradition of India. It is performed traditionally by the women of the Ambalavasi Nambiar community of Kerala, known as Nangyaramma, but has transcended the caste barrier since the second half of the 20th century.
Nangiarkoothu, an offshoot of Kutiyattam, is a solo performance with an antiquity of 1500 years. It is the sole domain of female artistes. The stories for the performance are taken from the text Sree Krishna Charitam, depicting the life of Lord Krishna. During the performance the actress presents the longwinded stories of Lord Krishna through hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to the accompaniment of the resonant pot drum mizhavu.
Nangyar Koothu, a variation of Chakyarkoothu, is a classical dance-drama of Kerala. It is performed by Nangiars, the female members of the Chakyar caste. Koothambalam or Koothupura of temples is the usual venue. This solo performance that comprises a fine blend of mime and comedy is based on the legends of Lord Krishna.
Though its popularity is on the decline, Nangyar Koothu is still performed in temples like Koodalmanikyam temple at Irinjalakkuda, Sri Krishna temple at Ambalappuzha, Kumaranalloor temple at Kottayam and Vadakkunnatha temple at Thrissur.