DASAKATHIA

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Region : Southern Orissa
Important Place Of Observance : Ganjam District



A colourful and popular performance is rendered by two members, one signer ('Gayaka') and the other accompanist ('Palia'). The very word "Dasakathia" is derived from the word Das, which means worshipper and 'Kathi' means two pieces of sticks, which produce a very sweet sound. This performance is ritualistic and secular in nature.

The performers each holding a pair of sticks begins their performance in chorus with invocatory verses composed by the local poets, each one striking his own sticks in perfect tune. The recitation of mythological themes in usually at the top of voice hypnotizes folk listeners. The comment of Sukumar Ray on the performance of Daskathia appears to be interesting. Hence, it may be less musical but more dramatic.

Costumes
The dramatic performance includes verbose stanzas of various types including 'pauranic' episodes mixed with manly vigour. Luxurious in dress and with turban on head and wearing a long 'luish' or silken coat, the two 'dasas' create a visual attraction of the listeners by their gestures and postures. This vocal recital is based on some patterns of tunes of inherent southern rural character.

The form of inimitable type of music is a distinctive contribution of Ganjam district of South Orissa. Accentuation of the languages, breaking of syllables with notes, rigid pronunciations indicate a clear fusion of southern patterns in Oriya.



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