Chenda is a percussion drum that is part of Kerala’s culture and tradition. (It is also used in a few other parts of
Chenda is made from a cylindrical wooden drum about two feet long. Both ends are covered with hide. The tuning is done by adjusting the tension of the skin and the strings on the sides. The instrument is hung on the neck of the artiste. Only one face of the chenda is beaten, with sticks.
Usually the performances are by a group, but there are solo presentations also. Two popular ensembles are Panchari melam and Pandi melam. Usually the sound of chenda is loud but an expert can play it with great sensitivity.
The photographs below by KO Isaac were taken at my niece Rose’s wedding at Olavipe .