Channapatna handcraft can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train local artisans in the making of the wooden toys.
The traditional wooden toy-and-doll craft, with perfected lacquer-ware of Channapatna (on the Bangalore-Mysore highway).
It is protected by a geographical indication (GI) tag but today a crisis stares the industry in the face.
The art is known for its mix of vegetable dye and food grade pigments, with natural shellac insect residue.
It obtained from the trees of Amaltaas and Kusum in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa.
Although Channapatna’s toy industry survives, what pains is the near-absence of lacquering that attaches a heritage value to it.
#2 Martial dances of India
Martial dances of India
Chholia of Uttranchal,
Kalari paittu of Kerala,
Thang-taa of Manipur
Gatka of Punjab
Paika of Orissa
Pang Lhabosol of Sikkim
Kalarippayattu (asked in UPSC Prelim 2014) :
Kalarippayattu is a famous Indian martial art from land of attraction Kerala and one of the oldest fighting systems in existence.
It is practiced in most of the part of south India.
A kalari is the school or training hall where martial arts are taught.
It includes strikes, kicks and some weapon based practiced,
Footwork patterns is most important key in Kalarippayattu.
It is the best Indian martial art that has been used in many movies to make it popular, like Ashoka and The myth.
Silambamis, a weapon-based Indian martial art from Tamil Nadu.
Every states has it own style of martial arts.
A wide variety of weapons are used in silamban, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Silambam art also used animal movements of snake, tiger, eagle forms and footwork patterns is play a key role here as well.
Another part of Silambam is Kuttu varisai, it is the unarmed kind of martial art.
Gatkais weapon-based Indian martial art basically created by the Sikhs of Punjab.
There are many weapons used in Gatka like, Stick, Talwar, kirpan and kataar.
The attacking and defense methods are based upon the positions of the hands feet and nature of weapons used.
It is also displayed during the different celebrations or at fairs in Punjab.
The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka. These sticks may be paired with a shield. Points are scored for making contact with the stick.
The other weapons are not used for sparring, but their techniques are taught through forms training.
It is based on the basic principle of unification of the mind, body and spirit in a rhythm of life to train a saint-soldier to be able to defend himself/herself.
It is unarmed martial art from the oldest city of India “Varanasi“.
Technique used in this martial arts are punches, kicks, knees and elbow strikes.
This style is a complete art of physical, mental and spiritual development.
This art is very rarely visible but was very popular in middle age.
Thang Ta is popular term for the ancient Manipuri Martial Art also known as HUYEN LALLONG.
Manipuri martial arts with swords and spears, is a strong yet gracefully sophisticated art.
The Manipuri art of huyen lalong was once practiced by the state's indigenous hill tribes who would engage in duels governed by strict rules of conduct.
The armed component called thang-ta is named after the system's main weapons, the thang (sword) and ta (spear). Practitioners spar through cheibi gatka in which a foam sword is used together with a shield.
Unarmed huyen lalong is called sarit-sarak and is used in conjunction with thang-ta when the fighter loses their weapon
Lathi is an ancient armed martial art of India.
It also refers one of the world’s oldest weapons used in martial arts.
Lathi or stick martial arts practiced in Punjab and Bengal region of India.
Lathi still remains a popular sport in Indian villages.
Mardani Khel is an armed method of martial art created by the Maratha.
This traditional martial art of Maharashtra is practiced in kolhapur.
Pari-khandaa style of sword and shield fighting from Bihar.
This art is created by the rajputs.
Pari-khanda steps and techniques are also used in Chau dance.
3 styles: Seraikela (Jharkhand), Purulia (Bengal), Mayurbanj (Orissa) – popular in Purulia district of West Bengal
Derived from ‘Chhaya’ – shadow or mask
Depict themes from Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Puranas
Padayani Folk Dance (Kerala):
Regional temple festivals
Main centres – Kottayam, Quilom, Pathanamthitta, Aleppey districts
Masks of various shapes
Gaur Folk Dance (M.P):
Meaning – ferocious bison
Call for the dance is given by sanding a bamboo trumpet or horn
Men and women
Costume (men) – head – dresses decorated with strings of cowrie shells and plumes of peacock
Costume (women) – brass hillets and bead necklaces
Men with drums move in a circle >> create variety of dancing patterns
Incorporates movements of a bison
Jhoomar Folk Dance (Punjab):
Slower and more rhythmic form of Bhangra
Content of songs – love and emotion
Performed in a circle to the tune of songs
Kummi Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu):
Temple festivals, pongal etc.
Women move in a circle and dance while clapping their hands rhythmically
One of the women leads the song while others take up the refrain
Therukoothu Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu):
Junctions of the village during village festivities
Men and Women
Majilattom Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu):
Artistic and religious form of dance performed in temples
Performer dances on a tall piece of wood attached to the end of his feet
Wears costumes from head to toe like a peacock with beak
Yakshagana Folk Dance (Karnataka):
Musical dance drama based on Ramayana and Mahabharatha which deals with themes of valour and heroism
Mainly manifestation of God Vishnu
Imp – footwork, hand gestures – absent
Costumes – red and yellow colours
Starts in the twilight hours with the beating of compositions on drums from upto an hour before the actors get on stage
Depicts a story from Indian epics and puranas
Bhavai Folk Dance (Gujarat):
Most colourful and skillful 7 pots folk dance
Dandiya Raas (Gujarat):
Simple and rhythmic dance performed by young people moving around in an imaginary circle to the beat of Dandiya sticks that they carry in their hands
18th century form of entertainment
Name derived from Persian word “spectacle”
Patronized by Maratha rulers
Kutiyattam Folk Dance (Kerala):
Sanskrit theatre tradition of more than 2000 yrs closely follows the precepts of Natyashastra
Similar to Kathakali
Also called as poor man’s Kathakali
Solo dance with simplicity and humour
Kavadiyattam (Tamil Nadu):
Karagam – temple dance
Dummy Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu):
Horse dance in temples
Hikat Folk Dance (J & K):
Expression of joy and love by guys and girls
Women at harvest
Cham (Arunachal Pradesh):
Masked ritual dance
Ras Dances (Manipur):
Maha Ras, Nitya Ras, Vasanta Ras
Celebrate the season and depicts the life of Sri Krishna
Pung Cholam (Manipur):
Dance with drums
Playing the Mrudangam, the dancer executes amazing and energetic movements in unique combination of dance and movement
Jatra (West Bengal):
15th century as a result of Bhakti movement in which the devotees of Krishna go in a procession (Yatra or Jatra) to holy places singing and dancing
Baul (West Bengal):
Wandering minstrel of Sahajiya sect(Tantric sect of Bengal) hold week long festival during which they sing and dance
Charkula (Uttar Pradesh):
Veiled women balancing large multi-tiered circular wooden pyramids on their heads, alight with 108 oil lamps, dance to the strains of ‘rasiya’ – songs of Lord Krishna. Charkula is especially performed on the third day after Holi – the day which Radha was born.
All these Folk dances of India contributed a lot for the development of Classical dances.