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Mari Kunitha

 
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.


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