Oyoor Kochugovinda Pillai

Born in 1917 in the village of Veninallur, Kerala, Shri Narayanan Kochugovinda Pillai — better known as Oyoor Kochugovinda Pillai — learnt Kathakali from Chathannur Velu Pillai, Chennithala Kochu Pillai Panikker, and Kurichi Kunjan Panikker. He received lessons in sahityam from Pallickal Moothala Kesava Pillai. As a performer and later a teacher, Shri Oyoor Kochu- govinda Pillai has made a significant contribution to the art of Kathakali. He has mastered and performed to acclaim roles such as Hamsam, Pushkaran, Rugmangadan, Karaan, and Krishnan. He has also taught a number of students who are now estalished Kathakali performers. Active in the field for some 60 years, he still teaches students at home. Shri Oyoor Kochugovinda Pillai has been honoured with the Kerala Kaiarnandalam Award in 1982 and the Kerala Sangeet NatakAkademi Award in 1986. Shri Oyoor Kochugovinda Pillai receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to Kathakali.