Kummatti is a traditional folk art form of Kerala performed especially during the season of Onam ,the grandest festival of the state. The youth in groups perform this art ,donning themselves in facemasks and a cover dress made of a particular kind of grass commonly known as Kummattippullu or Parpadakappullu having the scientific name Olden Landea,and in the streets of villages and towns of Kerala ,especially in Thrissur and Palakkad Districts.
During recent years this art form faced threat of extinction due to the scarcity of the grass to make the robe of Kummatties.which disappeared from its natural habitats ,ie ,in the wastelands and on the sides of mud roads as part of the land developments in both rural and urban area.When Sri.Arun ,of Kizhakkumpattukara Kummatti Sangham approached Dr.Jalaja.S.Menon of Kerala Agricultural University for their help,Dr.Jalaja contacted Kudumbashree District Mission in turn.
The District Mission Team under the leadership of District Mission Co-ordinator Sri.K.V.Jyothish Kumar,conducted several meetings in various parts of the District to identify the areas in which this grass grew.As a result of efforts which took weeks,we got information that it is growing in parts of Thalikulam ,Thiruvilwamala,and Kondazhy Panchayats.The growth in Thalikulam was not much but in Kondazhy they were aplenty in the forest area. Kondazhy Gramapanchayath came forward to help the CDS and farmers for the cultivation and protection of Kummattippullu .Gramapanchayat President Smt.Sridevi took special interest for in this programme.Groups of farmers collected grass from inland roadsides and even from forest area.Smt.Kavitha the JEVA member from the Panchayat lead these groups in their field activities.
On 28th August 2017 the groups handed over the collected grass to Sri.Arun of Kizhakkumpattumkara Kummattisangham.The function was inaugurated by hon:District Panchayat President Smt.Sheela Vijayakumar ,and was presided over by Smt.Sridevi,Kondazhy Gramapanchayat President.A total of 15 bags containing 30 kgs.each were handed over to Sri.Arun.They also preserved some as seedlings for cultivation in next year.We hope we will be able to provide the entire quantity necessary for all Kummatti groups in the District and even neighbouring Districts in the coming years and preserve a tradition that would otherwise have gone down memory lane.