The Duff Muttu or the Dubh Muttu, or the Duff Kali is a folk entertainment item popular among the Muslims of the Malabar region in Kerala, performed to commemorate their festivals, nuptial ceremonies or Urooses (festivals and occasions connected with Mosques) and also for social entertainment. The art form is also known as Rebana.
The interesting art form of Duff Muttu is named after the instrument used in the performance called Duff. It is a musical percussion instrument of Arabian origin made of wood and ox skin. It is also known as the Thappitta. There is no time specific for a Duff Muttu performance. It can be played anytime of the day.
The players are usually six in numbers. They stand or sit facing each other and sing songs, swinging the body in different directions. The rhythmic beat of the palm on the duff controls the tempo of the song and the movements of the dancers. The songs of the dance are often a tribute to martyrs and heroes. The leader sings while the others provide chorus and drum the Duff with their fingers or palms. The dancers often toss the drums over their heads. Unique and rhythmic steps are also part of the dance.