Daffu Muttu

The Duff Muttu or the Dubh Muttu, or the Duff Kalli is an art form performed in Kerala by the Muslim community to commemorate their festivals, nuptial ceremonies or Urooses and also for social entertainment.  Basically Duff or Dubh is a music instrument made of wood and skin of animal(mostly of goats and ox skin). It is also called Thappitta. Sometimes the Aravana is used instead of the Duff. Hence the art is sometimes called the Aravana Muttu or Aravana Kalli. Participants play this and dance.The tradition method of playing this is by standing in a u shape,then singing byth i.e. the traditional Arabic song and then playing according to the song, and the modern way is by singing any islamic song and by putting steps according to the song and then playing.

The Duff Muttu is said to have been initially performed in Madina in South Arabia. This used to be performed on the paddy fields of Arabia where the artists used to sing the praise of the Lord. The songs often have a tribute to the martyrs, saints and heroes as their central theme. Often the sons are in Arabic and sing the Creator’s praise.The participants in a Duff Muttu programme sing and dance. The leader sings while the others provide chorus and drum the Duff with their fingers or palms. About half a dozen artists sit or stand facing each other (usually in a semi circular form) sing, and move in a circular fashion. Duff Muttu is quite famous among the Muslims of Kasargod & Malappuram districts in the Malabar Region of Kerala. Mosques and Madrasas have their own Duff Muttu troupes. Stage competitions are also arranged all over Kerala.