KOZHIKODE: Modern forms of entertainment will no more be a threat to traditional art forms in the state as Pattupanthal, a micro-enterprise unit of the District Kudumbashree Mission, has taken up the challenge of keeping dying art forms alive.
A selected 20-member team, comprising 12 boys and eight girls, have been entrusted with the task of identifying and creatively presenting traditional art forms for the public through this programme, which is academically and technically being supported by Calicut University’s School of Folklore Studies and Eksat HRD training and Research Institute.
“For several communities in our society, art is what keeps them united in their difficult times. We envisage the project, taking into consideration the need to protect such art forms to make our people culturally aware,” says district coordinator of Kudumbashree Mission, Muhammad Faisal.
The Pattupanthal team members staged their initial performance during the 16th anniversary celebrations of the state Kudumbashree Mission in Thiruvananthapuram.
Apart from organising rehearsals and training classes in Theyyam, Kummatti, Karakattam, Kolkkali, Margam Kali, Karingaliyattam, Oppana, Duff Muttu, tribal dance and many more, it also provides a platform for the artistes to gather and share their perspectives and opinions on the way the unit functions. Though there is full of fun at the rehearsal camp, the project is not a child’s play for the members associated with it.
By promoting several unfamiliar dances and music forms, they are offering a chance for youths, representing particular communities, to be the masters of their community’s art forms and to eke out a decent living by performing them.
“We try to enrich the already known art forms by bringing about timely changes to them,” say the members of Pattupanthal, adding that they are yet to find several dynamic dances that are still confined to particular localities in the rural belt of Kozhikode. Muhammad Faisal further says that modern forms of entertainment like smart phones, television and internet have contributed much to making several unique dance forms fade into oblivion.
With the project, traditional knowledge and folklore will get the deserving space in society, he says. In his words, this is the first time the Kudumbashree Mission is embarking on such a project to ensure financial security for youths.
If everything works out as planned, in the near future, the Mission members will start a folklore library and museum at the folklore research centre that they are going to set up in Kozhikode.
Based on the success of the project in the district, a community theatre will be suggested for statewide implementation, he says.