- An Indian theatrical form that originated in the 17th century,possibly deriving from ritual dances at holy shrines.
The style of the performances and their associated customsdiffer slightly from one region to another. In Tamil Nadu the elephant-headedgod of good fortune, Sri Vighneswara, is honoured before each performanceand a clown (kattiakaran) announces the theme of the drama.The plays tend to tell love stories and focus almost exclusively onfemale characters.
The Maharaja Serfoji II (1798 - 1833) adapted Kuravanjidialogues so that one of the main characters, the gypsy, could describeher country of origin through song and dance. In this way the audience,who had few educational resources, could learn about the world outsidetheir own village.