Moozhikkal Pankajakshi

Moozhikkal Pankajakshi

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Category: Art

Moozhikkal Pankajakshi Profile

  • Name:
  • Moozhikkal Pankajakshi
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Pala

Moozhikkal Pankajakshi Biography

Moozhikkal Pankajakshi is a performing artist from Kerala. She is known for performing the rare puppet show, ‘Nokkuvidya Pavakali’, which showcases stories of Hindu mythology, mostly the epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. At the age of 84, she has been honoured with fourth civilian honour Padma Shri by government of India in 2020, for her immense contributions towards promoting this dying art. In normal puppet shows, artists move puppets with the help of hands, while in this case, puppets are placed in a lengthy stick and placed above lips to do this act. Only she and her granddaughter Renjini are the survivors of this tradition, across the globe.


Moozhikkal Pankajakshi was born in Pala, Kottayam. Many of her family members are associated with this traditional art, and she also decided to keep the tradition alive. She started training at the age of 11, and when she got married, her husband and other family members were curious about this art form. With the support of her family members, she has been performing this art form for many decades, till mid-70s, when she was affected by a stroke. After that she passed this tradition to her granddaughter, who performs it on stage, in India and abroad.


Pankajakshi started learning this art form with the help of midribs of coconut leaves and tender and small sized coconuts. It took many years of dedication to master this art. She has been honoured with folklore academy award and fellowship, before she received Padma awards. As traditionally only ladies perform it in public places, her granddaughter is performing it, while her grandsons assisting her on stage with music and percussion, and also arranging things. Moozhikkal is the name of ancestral home of her husband.  


Published: February 17, 2020

Updated: February 17, 2020

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