KEELU KUDURE KUNITA
(Hinged horse dance)
Kudure Dance (kIlu kudure kuNita) (ಕೀಲುಕುದುರೆ ಕುಣಿತ)
imitation of the movements of a horse, by men and women with a contraption made
to resemble a horse. This art form is popular in all the states of
This dance is performed all over Karnataka. This is known as ‘Poy Kudure’ in Coorg districts. ‘kudure kOla’ and ‘maragAlu kuNita’ are two more dances that come under the same category.
The making of a hinged horse is by itself a folk art. Different parts of the body of this horse are made by different craftsmen. People belonging to the ‘mEda’ who are experts in cane craft and basket weaving construct the chest and hind parts of the horse with thin pared bamboos. The head of the horse along with a hollow neck are made by goldsmiths or painters (chitrgaars) in the village. They are brightly painted with natural colours. They are made of paper pulp. Hinges are attached to its tongue also. Consequently it pops out moves in depending on the movements of the artist. This head and neck contraption is joined to the torso of the horse. The artists who enact the role of the kings and the queen are decked in appropriate royal costumes. They put on artificial crowns and other ornaments to match their costume. A pair of wooden legs, about two feet in height, made of light and strong wood is tied to their legs, with a fine piece of string. The torso of this horse is covered with a multi coloured gown which is spacious enough to make the wooden legs invisible to the onlookers. The artist dons this contraption and the upper part of his body projects above the horse through an aperture made in the back of the torso. He ties the bamboo contraption to his shoulders. He holds the reins of the horse and creates an impression that he is riding the horse. His body sways this way and that way giving rise to corresponding movements in the artificial horse. The tail and the head movements are manipulated very artistically. The dance is performed to the tunes of an orchestra and adds to the festive spirit of annual fairs and weddings.
1. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/vkm/vk18.htm (Photograph,
Courtesy: Kamat’s Potpouri)
2. Keelu Kudure Kunita (Live Performance, Courtsey: You Tube)
3. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3294/2907006930_5e11496b0a.jpg?v=0 (Poikkal Kudirai Attam)
6. http://lh5.ggpht.com/_oL4uZJnnGMw/ScJ0yf2JR-I/AAAAAAAAAFQ/own72yisiZc/DSC01480.JPG (Few more horses)