//Ooruvilakku or Banishment against performing artists

Ooruvilakku or Banishment against performing artists

Dear Friends,

Ooruvilakku or Banishment:

'Ooruvilakku' means denying a performer to perform in shrines. For example, a performer named Padmanabhan Panicker, Kotakad, has revealed that he was denied the right to performance because a 'crime' has imposed upon him. It was alleged that he took more money from devotees without giving any shareof it to the shrine-authority. The charge against his brother was that, as  a performer he had behaved badly towards the shrine authority.

Next year, the shrine authority bargained with a performer and conducted a performance. The misdemand charged against on the performer may not be true, but it become evenful bane for enacting of his shrine authority to  argain for the reduction of reward for the performance. Because of  competition within the community of Theyyam, they could easily exploit the performers according to their will. And, in the case of many performers inthe Village of both Karivallur and Chirakal, they had the same problem.

They agreed to perform at the invitation of the Asia Games help in Delhi in 1984 as these performers were going to perform outside the shrine where  they could perform freely without the element of casteism and on such an occasion they receive an identity (pride) of being artists. Moreover, they could get reasonable remuneration too. But, most of the performances outside the shrine, mediated by intermediaries and take lion's share.

The performers could receive only a small share. Intermediaries are people who made contact with national and international Programme co-ordinators.

This is what is the new folk- art lovers are doing by exploiting these artists while they arrange programmes on spaces different from the traditional.This also resulted in the Ooruvilakku to those who went to perform outside.

Because of fear of Oruvillaku, many good performers are now not t all willing to perform outside the shrine even if they get good opportunity to perform. So, social mobility of the performer faces many hurdles, and they experience these disadvantages from the society as wellas the community due to the psychological, cultural and traditional attachment to the rituals.

Rajesh Kumar.K.
Doctoral Scholar
Centre For Development Studies
Prasanth Nagar, Ulloor
Trivandrum- 695011
Kerala, India
[email protected]
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