Butta Bommalu is one of the famous dance
forms of Andhra Pradesh,
which is performed during the festive seasons. It is also known, as the
'dance of masks'. This is a typical folk dance form, popular in Tanuku of
West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
'Butta Bomma' is a puppet made of thin bamboo strips woven into a long circular basket figure, about 8 ft tall and 3 ft wide. Hence it derives the name Butta Bommalu, which means Basket puppets. They are also made of wood husk, dry grass and cow dung.
The Puppet Dance
The puppet is smeared with the paste of tamarind seeds and the bottom part is made hollow to enable a performer enter it. Different colours are used to make it expressive. Small holes are made near the waist of the figure to enable the dancer to see through.
Each dancer wears a different mask over the head and shoulders and ties it firmly to his waist and shoulders. Owing to the lightweight of the puppet dancer manages to move around and dance freely. The puppets are of different mythical figures like Lord Rama, Ravana, Hanuman, Satyabhama, Shakti etc. depending upon the festival during which it is performed.