Oggu Katha - A Traditional Telangana Folk Art


It was during the International Kite festival 2018, organized by Telangana Tourism as part of Makar Sankranti celebrations, I happened to see this traditional Telangana folk art called Oggu Katha. 

The word 'Oggu' means a small handheld drum and 'Katha' means story in Telugu. So its a storytelling using the drums.

 
Though watching it on the day I couldn't understand what it is all about. I was just enjoying the beats of the dol and the rhythm in their movements. Their movements were all perfectly synced. 

Later when I read about it, came to know that this ancient folk art form is narrating stories praising Mallikarjuna Swamy aka Mallana who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. But praising for what?? There is an interesting story behind it. 

We all know stories of Lord Shiva's anger. He beheaded his own son out of anger. The story took place during the time of wedding with Bhramaramba, as her brothers had an argument with Mallana. Provoked Mallana turned the brothers into dogs and later into 'oggus'(drums). Bhramaramba intervened and instructed the brothers turned 'oggus' to hail Shiva(Mallana), to regain their human form. This is the myth behind the origin of Oggukatha. Interesting right??



Though the real Oggu Katha is about stories praising Shiva, some performers started using this art form as a weapon to create awareness among masses and to educate on the social problems such as dowry system and superstitions.

Wondering how the Oggu Katha performance looks like.. Watch the video to have a glimpse of it, captured during the event..


Have more to say about this folk art.. I am all ears to you.. Leave me a comment.. 

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