'Yakshamangala' museum opens

For Art’s sake: A partial view of the Yakshamangala museum in Mangalore university premises.  DH Photos

In a bid to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka, there is a need to document Yakshagana artistes as well as rare prasangas, said Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy Chairman Kumble Sundar Rao.

Speaking after inaugurating ‘Yakshamangala’ museum at Dr P Dayananda Pai and P Sathish Pai Yakshagana Study Centre and conferring Yaksha Mangala award here at Mangalore University on Monday, he said “people may forget the yakshagana artistes of great stature. However, the Centre should preserve the memories of such great artistes.

The Centre should become ‘Kalayathra centre’ in the future.

There is a need to make an indepth study on Yakshagana characters. A library catering to the needs of yakshagana lovers should come up in the centre. An archive on the rarest prasanga should be preserved in the centre,” he added.

He called upon the people to hand over any rare art pieces related to Yakshagana to the Yakshagana Study Centre.

Dayananda Pai said that he is planning to provide monthly honorarium to the Yakshagana artistes along with starting an endowment to support the cause of sports personnel. Though Yakshagana is a rich art form, the artistes are still poor, he lamented.

He also assured to pay a sum of Rs 2,000 monthly to Kadathoka Manjunath Bhagavatha on the occasion.

The first Yakshamangala award was conferred on Kadathoka Manjunath Bhagavatha. He has served yakshagana for the last six decades. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a citation.

Museum

The museum has colourful models of Yakshagana characters. The models made of fibre were of five-and-a-half feet to seven feet in height. Mahabala Kalmadkka of Ranga Surabhi, Sullia, had prepared nine such models of characters representing the thenkuthittu school of Yakshagana.

The museum has models of Pundu Vesha, Raja Vesha, Stree Vesha, Kiratha, Bheemana Mudi, Hanumantha, Bannada Vesha, Kuttari or Rakshasa Stree Vesha and Hasya Vesha.

There are ‘bannada mukhavadagalu’ at the museum. The ‘himmela’ (background) music instruments such as chende, maddale, jagate, chakratala and harmonium have also been displayed.

At the entrance of the kendra, two models of Yakshagana characters, Devendra and Mairavana, have been installed. They are of 12 ft in height. M G K Acharya has given them the shape under the guidance of Jeevanram Sullia.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, Yakshagana Study Centre Director Dr K Chinnappa Gowda said the kendra has collected large photographs of veshas of prominent artistes which has been displayed at the museum. It has collected works, comprising manuscripts, on Yakshagana and supportive subjects. It had organised as many as 35 series of lectures on different theme in yakshagana. Dayananda Pai and Sathish Pai have created an endowment with Rs one crore. The museum was completed at the cost of Rs 18 lakh, he added.

Vice-Chancellor Prof T C Shivashankaramurthy presided.

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