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"Chene" redirects here. This is also a peculiar cactus species, Polaskia chende.
A Pancharimelam performance, chenda players are on the left.
Chenda Players

The Chenda (pronounced [tʃeɳʈa]) is a cylindrical percussion instrument used widely in the state of Kerala, India. It is also used in some parts of Karnataka where it is called the Chande.

The chenda is mainly played as an accompaniment in the Hindu religious art forms of Kerala. The chenda is used as an accompaniment for Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Kannyar Kali and among many forms of dances and rituals in Kerala. It is also played in a dance-drama called Yakshagana which is popular in Karnataka. It is traditionally considered to be an 'Asura Vadyam' which means it cannot go in harmony.

Playing the Chenda

A chenda is made out of a cylindrical wooden drum, and has a length of 2 feet and a diameter of 1 foot. Both ends are covered (usually with cow skin). The chenda is suspended from the drummers neck so that it hangs vertically. Using two sticks, the drummer strikes the upper parchment. This instrument is famous for its loud and rigid sound.

Different types of Chenda

  • Uruttu chenda - for playing variations.
  • Veekku chenda - one which beats the basic rhythm.
  • Acchan chenda

See also


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