Challenges to a Folk Theatre in Tamil Nadu

Hanne M de Bruin


This article discusses the challenges to Kattaikkâttu, a folk theatre performed in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu, in the context of the changing economic and social circumstances in which the theatre has to operate. The article tries to emphasise the social and cultural significance of this art form. Kattaikkâttu fulfils an important role in providing a powerful cultural medium of expression that is interactive, flexible, democratic, and accommodating, and geared to the entertainment and ritual/religious demands of its rural spectators. The article proves that a folk art form can provide not only a varied labour market but also a platform where local relationships, problems and politics are acted out and – to some extent – commented and reflected upon.

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