Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Mappila art forms are indigenous forms of expression that took shape among the Muslim community in Kerala. Expressed mainly in the form of songs and literature, the Mappila arts evolved a special identity of their own, while at the same time, remaining closely linked with the cultural practices of Kerala.

A two-day festival of Mappila art forms held at Kerala Fine Arts Hall, Ernakulam on Friday and Saturday, drew attention to the various issues faced by these art forms. The participants at a Mappila Art and Literature Seminar, held on Saturday as part of the festival, highlighted the need to preserve the original identity of Mappila songs and literature. They raised the issue that most of the new songs now being released under the label of `Mappila Songs,' hardly preserve the original nature of the folk idiom and tunes.

The festival was organised by Kerala Mappila Art Academy.

The seminar demanded that the new-generation Mappila songs that do not have any connection with the richness of the original repertoire should not be promoted. V.M. Kutti, the celebrated Mappilappattu singer and songwriter, told the seminar that the songs always possessed a unique literary format as well as original modes of singing. And the songs mostly spoke of lofty ideas, which would help the common public to lead a good life. Love and tenderness were the hallmarks of Mappila songs.