Mahouts and Kavadis’ kids to dance at Makkala Dasara on Sept. 22
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Mahouts and Kavadis’ kids to dance at Makkala Dasara on Sept. 22

September 16, 2017

By Pavan Murthy

Mysuru: The ease with which the tribal children in the sprawling Mysore Palace campus spend time with the gentle giants in gay abandon is a sight to behold. After all, they are the original forest-dwellers and living with animals is second nature to them. The amount of knowledge they have about the forests is all gained from living amidst nature.

However, the same children when they come to the cities, are inhibited and become shy. But come Dasara, then as part of Gajapayana (marching of elephants), the women and children accompany the mahouts and kavadis to Mysuru and live for more than a month in the Palace.

The District Administration takes good care of them and most of their needs are taken care of including running a Tent School for the children. Even as they are involved in studies, their other hidden talents are also being exploited. Now, they are engrossed in learning different kind of dance steps.

The children initially were reluctant to learn dance. But, now a new world has opened up before them and they are dancing to their heart’s content. They are not just learning dance steps but they will also be performing before a live audience in the cultural programme as part of Makkala Dasara at Jaganmohan Palace on Sept.22.

DDPI Dr. B.K.S. Vardhan has taken personal interest to promote their talents and on his direction, the children’s cultural programme is taking shape. Bademakan Government School teacher Shobha Prakash, Medar Block School teacher Akkamma, Savithri Convent teacher Dayanand and CESC AEE Ashwini are training the children, who are going to dance to the tunes of folk and film songs. One of the songs chosen is from the film Nagarahole ‘Nagarholeyal Ammale…’ for which they are practising. The song reflects the costumes and culture of Adivasis and hence they are able to freely relate to it.

The folk song chosen is ‘Moodal kunigala kere nodorigond iboga…’ for which the children are practising hard to win the hearts of the audience. All these children are aged between 6 and 15 years. There are 16 girls and six boys who are going to perform.

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The children were hesitating and shying away, when we went to them with the idea of teaching them dance. However, we managed to win their minds and hearts and are now getting them ready to dance. The Dasara children’s cultural programme will begin from Sept. 21 at Jaganmohan Palace. On Sept. 22, the children of mahouts and kavadis will display their talents. If there are people who are willing to provide them costumes and other related paraphernalia, they can contact the Palace Tent School authorities. — Shobha Prakash

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