>> Vayshyagara (Performing Artistes)
1.0 Craft Identity
1.1 Name of Craft: Traditional Street Theatre Artistes
1.2 Vernacular equivalent: Vayshaygara or Budagajangam
1.3 Craft description: The Budagajangam are a nomadic tribe of artistes who traditionally stage theatrical performances based on the religious epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
2.0 Locations (within study area): Venkatapura Camp
3.0 Historical overview
The Vayshyagara clan would travel together and pitch tents in the village for the duration of their performances. They were traditionally paid in kind with grain and food. They made their own elaborate costumes or vayshays, which is why the townsfolk consider them craftsmen rather than performing artistes. They used pigments made by grinding mineral stones to colour their faces before a performance.
4.0 Works Process
4.1 Seasonality: Depend entirely on invitations to perform.
4.3: Tools: Costumes and make-up.
4.4 Work Pattern: Performances today are held only by invitation from patrons.
4.5 Products: Theatrical performances based on religious epics.
4.6 Pricing range: Rs. 3000 – Rs. 10,000 per performance.
5.0 Craftsperson’s perspective
Villagers and craftspeople are not rigid about art i.e. kalay and craft i.e. kulakasubu and used the terms interchangeably. They felt that traditional village artistes were also craftspeople
6.0 Lister’s comments
6.1 Uniqueness: The vayshyagaras once made their own make-up from natural pigments found in coloured rocks and vegetable dyes, but today they purchase factory-produced make-up and face paint because it is more convenient.
6.2 Socio-economic data based on field interviews: Most individuals interviewed fell under the BPL category, suggesting a low socio-economic background. They also tended to belong to the Scheduled Castes and backward sections of society.