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Pavakkathakali

Category - Art Forms

Pavakkathakali


The great grand parents of the artistes seen in this video clip are migrants from Andhra Pradesh, a south Indian state. Experts of puppetry, they imbibed the splendour of their adopted homeland to give birth to a new form of puppetry - the Pavakkathakali (Puppet Kathakali).

A new generation of puppets resembling the Kathakali characters were crafted, and the folk art form gained popularity by door to door performances.

The padam or verses are borrowed from the original Kathakali padam itself. The lack of expressions owing to the still faces of the puppets are to a great extent compensated by modulating variations in the padams.

Pavakkathakali was so simple a version of the Kathakali that it was welcomed by the illiterate, rural people for whom 'Kathakali' was inaccessible owing to its complexity. At the same time it proved to be a novel entertainment for the rich and educated.

Today Pavakkathakali has carved a niche for itself in the vast folk art canvas of the state. Performances of this art abroad has also fetched much acclaim.

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