Burrakatha Dakki – A forgotten art form

18 Sep 2020  Fri

Burra Katha is an oral storytelling technique in the Jangam Katha tradition, performed in villages of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

It is a pitcher shaped brass vessel with a short neck and round belly. The wider end is covered with skin with the help of cotton cord through hoops and an iron ring. It is widely used by Burrakatha minstrels. It is of the same class of in¬stru¬ments as the tombak of Kashmir or the mid¬dle Eastern dumbek, or darbuka.

The instrument is hung around the neck and played with both hands. It is typically struck with the right hand while the left hand alternately opens and closes the op¬en¬ing at the small side. Occasionally both hands will be used to play the play¬ing surface.

The term ‘Burra’ originates from Tambura and ‘Katha’ of course, is the Sanskrit word that means ‘story’. The troupe consists of one main performer and two co-performers. It is a narrative entertainment that consists of prayers, solo drama, dance, songs, poems and jokes. The topic will be either a Hindu mythological story (Jangam Katha) or a contemporary social issue.

India Postal Department has issued a commemorative postage stamp featuring Burrakatha Dakki.

Image Source: Stampsofindia.com

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