The folk dance which is totally free from ritualistic and religious barriers
is 'Simha Nrutya' (lion dance), the popular dance of the Honnavara taluk
in the Uttara Kannada districts, usually performed by 'Yakshagana' artistes.
The dance is in effect a charming imitation of a lion's movements. Hence
the dancer wears a costume which closely resembles the lion. The costume
is specially made of bark and yarn using natural dyes. The dancer wears
a mask which is made up of cotton and is done to look like a lion's face.
Two silver pangs are inserted in the mouth to create a visual impression
of fangs. With the perfect portrayal of a lion's behaviour, movements,
mode of hunting and preying, Simha Nrutya is not only entertaining but
educative also. Simha Nrutya, generally performed during the Yakshagana
play is attracting attention and has been used in the propagation of messages
like preservation of wild life, dangers of deforestation, dangers of poaching