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Rani Machaiah chosen as 'Coorg Person of the Year' 

She also served as the president of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy from 2009 to 2012, and received the 2005 Karnataka Rajyotsava award for her significant contributions to the cultural heritage of Kodagu.
Last Updated : 03 January 2024, 21:58 IST

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Bengaluru: Padma Shri awardee Rani Machaiah, an esteemed exponent of the Ummathat folk dance art of Kodagu (Coorg), has been named the 'Coorg Person of the Year 2023'.

Leading her Ummathat troupe since 1984, Rani Machaiah Iymudiyanda has played a pivotal role in preserving and propagating the Kodava folk dance tradition. Over the years, she has imparted training to thousands of students in Kodagu district. Selection for the award was made through a poll conducted on www.coorgtourisminfo.com.

Born on April 4, 1943, Rani founded 'Kaveri Kala Vrinda' in 1986, dedicated to promoting Kodava folk dances such as Ummathat, Bolakat and Kolat. In early 2023, President Droupadi Murmu honoured her with the Padma Shri award.

Rani is renowned for her efforts in teaching and popularising Ummathat, a traditional Kodagu dance performed by women adorned in red brocade saris in the Kodava style, accompanied by traditional Kodava jewellery. The dance pays homage to Goddess Kaveri, revered as the mother goddess by the Kodavas, and is primarily performed during the harvest festival of Puthari.

Beyond Ummathat, Rani has actively promoted other folk dances like Kolat and Bolakat, typically performed by Kodava men in their traditional kupya and chele attire.

She also served as the president of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy from 2009 to 2012, and received the 2005 Karnataka Rajyotsava award for her significant contributions to the cultural heritage of Kodagu.

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Published 03 January 2024, 21:58 IST

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