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Kateel Yakshagana Mela


A century-old Yakshagana mela in Dakshina Kannada will resume its all-night performances following approval from the Karnataka High Court.


GS I: Art and Culture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Kateel Yakshagana Mela: Preserving Tradition and Devotion
  2. Key Facts about Yakshagana

Kateel Yakshagana Mela: Preserving Tradition and Devotion

  • Inception: Founded in the mid-19th century, it is a renowned Yakshagana troupe known as Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Yakshagaana Dashavatara Mandali, affectionately called Kateel Mela.
  • Purpose: A significant ‘Harake Seva’ troupe, offering Yakshagana performances upon devotees’ requests as a vow (Harake) for wish fulfillment or as a devotional service.
Key Facts about Yakshagana:
  • Origin: Traditional folk-dance form prevalent in Coastal Karnataka.
  • Composition: A unique blend of dance, music, song, scholarly dialogues, and vibrant costumes.
  • Tradition: Historically, all roles, including female characters, were portrayed by men, though contemporary troupes may include women.
  • Troupe Structure: Typically comprises 15 to 20 actors and a Bhagawatha, serving as the master of ceremonies and primary storyteller.
Elements of Yakshagana:
  • The Act: Each performance focuses on a sub-story (‘Prasanga’) from ancient Hindu epics like Ramayana or Mahabharata.
  • Presentation: Combines stage performances by talented artists with commentary by the lead singer (Bhagawatha), accompanied by traditional music.
  • Musical Instruments: Chande (drums), Harmonium, Maddale, Taala (mini metal clappers), and flute, among others.
  • Costumes: Distinctive and elaborate, featuring large headgear, colored faces, intricate costumes, and musical beads on the legs (Gejje).

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024