A Lasting ImpressionDhokra Art
This is a performance that hasn’t changed for a hundred years. Every sense of the movement, the music, the masks and even the most intricate of expressions have been passed on in whispers from generation to generation. Every wall and window you pass, has an identity marked with colour. Every man that roams through the streets of this little village possesses an intricate mask. The women who grind through the hay hum songs into the dry cold air of the mountains, the children of this village run with delight, each of them playing characters of their very own legend. Welcome to the little village of Kannalichinna, a place where god and man take turns to play each other, a place where your every identity is preserved in the mask that you wear, a place where nothing has changed, a place where one forgets time.
In a place where everyone knows their part, where every song is sung through the year in every backyard. There is no clatter for change, there is no need to bring out a new voice. Here lies a place where each and every one of these artists finds a voice of their own in echoes that have stayed here for a thousand years. Here this performance only comes to life, when all of these artist showcase their truest selves to their gods. When they think of their most sincere intentions, when they whisper to him that their art is an ode to his greatness. And this moment is announced to the Gods when the masks are first made. When every avatar of this relationship is cut intricately through the wood, when faces and traces of all that is great in their universe begins to come to life. This is a moment where all things black and white is draped with colours that represents their every vivid expression.
Yet even when intentions are announced, there must still be another wait. A wait for a whisper from God himself. And this whisper comes in the form clouds that appear from faraway places. It is a sign of the incoming monsoon. It is the sign of good tidings, the sign of new beginnings.
As the clouds appear from afar. There is an immediate shift in the village. Everyone effortlessly turns into their avatars and preparations for the big performance gets underway. And soon enough, on a fine morning, at the stroke of noon, each act follows another. Men from all walks of life take the form of gods and nature. The whole village comes from all over this hill, and takes part in the festivities. Their unbridled enthusiasm quickly turns into a hushed silence as the performances echo across the valley. Soon everyone there, from the artists to the watching villagers are all consumed by this ancient whisper that has been passed on from generation to generation. A whisper that came from the Gods.
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