Goravara Kunitha is a traditional dance form of Kuruba Gowdas of Karnataka. Being devotees of Mailara Linga, the men belonging to Kuruba Gowda community take initiation to follow the Gorava tradition. This is a process known as Deekshe and after this they dedicate the rest of their lives for lord Mailara Linga. They perform the folk art form Goravara Kunitha.
It is said that humans have extreme animalistic tendencies that are rather hidden normally. Goravara Kunitha exhibits these animalistic qualities in humans. Goravas dress themselves fierce fully, yet aesthetically for the Goravara Kunitha performance.
During Deekshe the boys at a certain age, belonging to the Kuruva Gowda community are accepted and initiated by the head of the Gorava clan into the sect. As a tradition, a woolen blanket is presented to the person upon undertaking the Deekshe.
Costume and Appearance
The Goravas have unique costumes which is the main attraction of this folk art form. A white or yellow Panche/Kache and white full arm Juba are the basic clothing and the head is covered with Rumala (white saree or Panche). The headgear is made from bearskin and placed on the Rumala. A wooden stick known as Nagabetha is held in the right hand. A flute known as Pilangovi is held in the left hand. The forehead is smeared with Vibhoothi (Bhasma). Eyes are marked with red and white circles which create a fierce look.
Goravara Kunitha is a traditional dance form having religious implications and performed during festivals. In public appearances the unruly behaviour is avoided. A group of about 10 standing in a line performs this art form.
Source of information: Various Sources