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Yakshagaana is the traditional and famous folk art theatre form of Karnataka. The colourful costumes of Yakshagaana play a very important role in this particular folk art form. Traditional “Kase Seere” (sari) is used as the main Vastra (costume) of Yakshagaana during the stage performance by artists. Udupi, Mangalore and Suraktal areas of Karnataka are the main centers for Yakshagaana sari weaving.
Weaving is done similar to other weaving techniques except for the design and colours used. Pure cotton threads are dyed and warp is prepared. The warp is then loaded into the loom for weaving processes. Production of Yakshagaana sari is limited and done only in Mangalore and Suraktal as the sari is the traditional wear of Yakshagaana from the early days. Weaving is done in basic frame looms without any jacquard technique as the sari has traditional check patterns and a simple border.
Importance of Yakshagaana Jewellery:
Karnataka is one of the well-known places for traditional folk art and culture in India. The famous folk stage or theatre drama performed in many regions of Karnataka mainly in Udupi, Dakshina Karnataka, Uttara Karnataka traditionally known as Aata, Bayalata in local names. Nowadays, Yakshagaana is popularized in other countries as well due to its cultural value. Yakshagana is famed for its unique costumes, makeup and jewellery. The ornaments consist of headgears, armlets, belts, neck chains etc.
Yakshagaana artists practice the traditional art for several years (probably since their childhood) to become experts in dialogue delivery, singing and dancing. The performance portrays the story of mythological episodes in parts. The Purana (epics) episodes can be according to their choice. A singer and a musician (to play the tabla) together called as Bhagavatharu will accompany the play. The performing artist dances and explains in dialogues when the background song is going on.
In earlier days, the stage used to be decorated by the costume makers, and they're used to be a minimum of 6 pillars of coconut tree trunks and the whole stage used to be divided into three segments. The front most of the stage was called as “Bramhasabhe” (which was the place for the experienced and well-versed artists). The center of the stage was for the performing artists and finally, the last portion of the stage was for the Bhagavatharu.
The ornaments, makeup and costumes are the essentials in Yakshagaana performance. The makeup and clothing range from simple to ornamental costumes according to the characters. The demon characters are specified with intricate face paint designs done with natural colours. Red, black, white, yellow, and green are the main colours used in face makeup. The costumes and jewellery are designed with glittering gold, black coloured wool balls and attractive red colour costumes.