Tamboori Songs and the community of singers who practice this particular brand of regional music are usually found in Hassan, Chikkamagalur and parts of Kodagu districts of South Karnataka. They are not associated with any religious sect and their songs are re creative rather than ritualistic. They belong to the calavAdi and haNata sub castes among the dalits. Kariyamma is their family deity and she is treated on par with Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth. However they do not sing any epic related to Kariyamma. Occasionally some tripadis (Poems containing three lines) about Kariyamma are sung.

            Tamboori is the instrument used by these singers and ‘baTTutALa’ and ‘gumaTe’ are the other two accompaniments. The tamboori which is about three feet long is usually made of teak wood and Jackfruit wood. One end of the tamboori is shaped like the hood of a serpent. It has four steel wires and knobs are used to tighten and loosen the wires. The performers wear a white robe and a yellow or saffron head gear. Carrying a satchel, they play cymbals with one hand and the Tamburi with the other.

            Tamboori singers are renowned for the recitation of their own version of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In addition to them, these singers have mastered some twenty mythological, historical and folk epics. These epics are interspersed with humorous songs and ballads. These epics give little importance to the prose part of their recitation and lay an emphasis on the melody of the songs. The main singer is supported by two more assistants.

            Kadu Siddamma (kADu siddamma), Sarjappanayaka (sarjappa nAyaka), Lohitakumara (lOhitakumAra), Balanagamma (bAlanAgamma), Kodagina Dore (koDagina Dore) are among the more popular recitations of these Tamboori artists.    



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