ISSN 2394-5125

    Exploring the birth of Gandhi Koothu - Life history of Indian freedom struggle through shadow puppetry (2019)

    Atul Sinha, Rahul K
    JCR. 2019: 393-399


    Tholpavakoothu is a traditional shadow puppetry form of Kerala which is performed in bhagavathy temples as part of the rituals in Central part of Kerala, the southern region of India. During the late 20th century this form has evolved from a temple based ritualistic performance to a contemporary form adapting secular themes, new narratives, and a uniquely different form of presentation. This paper will look at how Kavalappara Sangam (one the troupes of tholpavakoothu) envisioned and delivered a performance based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi as the father of India is honorifically called Mah?tm? (great souled). In Gandhi's image a puppet was made for Gandhi Koothu (Koothu is an ancient art where artist play songs, dance and music in retelling epics performed in Tamil) Kavalappara Sangam has been experimenting with non-traditional themes to preserve and make the art form relevant in the present era. Gandhi Koothu was directed by Padma Shri Ramachandra Pulavar, as a tribute to his father, Krishnan kutty Pulavar, who had ardently desired a change in the traditional character of the folk art by adopting the story of life of Gandhi. This performance marked the start of something new and provided the continual energy and inspiration necessary to create subsequent contemporary works using tholpavakoothu. The aesthetics that were employed in it provided a patriotic spirit, which helped it garner a lot of attention from a broad audience. Gandhi Koothu is a fascinating combination of Gandhi's life story and tradition that is brought forth via the designs of the puppets, the presentation, and the one-of-a-kind manner of the narrations. This is the very first show that actively sought out and encouraged women to take on leading positions in the creation and management of puppets.


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    Volume & Issue

    Volume 6 Issue-2