An incarnation of shaivite strength, Kuttichathan was born when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati lived for a while as mortals. It is believed that he was given this form by Lord Shiva to appease childless devotees, the Kalakkattamma and Kalakkattachan. Growing up as a mischievous child, Kuttichathan decapitates his teacher. When he tries to hurt Kalakkattamma, and seeing this Kalakkattachan tears him into 396 pieces and throws them into the fire. But an equal number of Kuttichathans emerge from the fire and the biggest among them went on a rampage. He is then placated by the Perumalayan, the senior most Theyyam performer of the Malayan Community at Chala in Kannur district.
The performer of Kuttichathan wears small headgear with tender coconut leaves attached to it. Sometimes Kuttichathan is believed to have taken the fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu, thus his role requires a fish tail-shaped mudi (headgear).