This is a scan of one of my father's photo's of the folk art form of Yakshaganam. My father Late Mr.K.V.Hanumantha Rao being a very well known folk art and music researcher was an avid photographer of folk art forms as well. He was also an avid performer of folk music.
This photograph was from a Pan South Indian Folk festival organized in Vijayawada by All India Radio (AIR) some 15-20 years ago.
Yakshagana (ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ, yakṣagāna is a musical theater popular in the coastal and Malenadu regions of Karnataka, India. Yakshagana is the recent (200 years) scholastic name for what are known as kēḷike, āṭa, bayalāṭa, bayalāṭa, daśāvatāra. It is believed to have evolved from pre-classical music and theatre during Bhakti movement.
In Andhra Pradesh,Yakshaganam is referred to as "Veedhi Natakam" and is the most popular folk theatre form of Andhra Pradesh. These were presented during the festivals of and in praise of 'Bhagavan' and the people who presented them were called the and performances during local festivals as 'Bhagavathams'.
Origin -- Veedhi Natakam had its origin in the late 16th century and early 17th century, when the Bhakti cult especially the Krishna Cult was in ascendance in Andhra. It improved upon the earlier performing forms- the Yakshaganam and the Kalapam. Though Yakshaganam was originally a single performer's musical rendering of a story, later it introduced more number of characters
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