Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ankola Komarpants' Suggi - Article from The Hindu

Suggi dancers express their gratitude

From the Hindu

This folk dance form is on the verge of extinction
“Suggi kunitha”, a local seasonal folk dance, has begun in the coastal taluks of Uttara Kannada district. The troupes of the Suggi dancers move from one village to another during the paddy harvest season till the festival of “Holi” to perform the dance as a gratitude to the God for the successful harvest.

The Suggi dancers wear traditional dresses and headgears. The dance has historical background as it was used to create awareness among the masses against the British rule during the Independence movement.

In Uttara Kannada, the Suggi dances were performed by the Hallakki Vokkalu, Patgar, Namadhari, Komarpanth, and Ager who were mainly agriculturists. After 12 years, the Kshatriya Komarapantha community of Avarsa in Ankola taluk has taken up the Suggi dance and their first performance was at Harwada. Of the 45 Komarapanth families in Harwada, 29 families had participated in the Suggi.

Rest of the families accompanied the Suggi dancers in fancy dresses, beating the drums. With the younger generation not taking up agriculture anymore, the Suggi dance is on the verge of extinction. But the people of different communities had been encouraged to keep their folk art alive.

  • It is performed in coastal districts during the harvest season

  • It was used to create awareness during the Independence movement