The community dance, Mari Kunitha which is wide spread in Mysore
and Mandya districts, display an insular flexibility in the presentation
and narration. Originally belonging to the Shakti cult, these dances consist
of performers standing either in rows or forming a big circle and dancing
to the tune of 'Chakravaddya', an indigenous flat percussion instrument.
The dance begins at a slow pace, gathers momentum, reaches a frenzied
pitch as the tempo of the beat increases and continues till the rhythm
fades away. The songs are sung intermittently at each pause and hence
could be heard by the audience clearly. In the dances like Kombat and
Billat, which is similar to the Mari Kunitha, the artistes attired in
customary 'Kodava' costume (consist of black robe, a silk
waist belt and a 'Zari' bordered white turban) perform carrying deer-horns
to the accompaniment of a drum and the dudi- a small drum.