இந்தப் பக்கத்தை தமிழில் வாசிக்க: அனுமன் ஆட்டம்
Hanuman Aattam received its name because the dancers perform the dance after adorning the guise of Hanuman of the epic Ramayanam. This is also called "Kurangaattam" and "Manthiyaattam". This dance, which is normally performed as part of "Karakattam" is also performed in processions of other festivals. Hanuman Aattam, widely performed across Tamil Nadu, is done in those areas where there are higher population of Vaishnavas.
Hanuman Aattam is performed widely to the rhythm of Naiyandi Melam. In some areas, the dance is performed in tune to a musical instrument called Pambai (a type of drum). While they dance, the artists wear monkey mask, cover their nape with green painted wig, fix a long tail in their back and anklets for their feet. As this is performed in village festivals, the dancers wearing the monkey disguise humor the crowd by making monkey pranks. Squinting their eyes towards the public, baring their teeth, jumping from one side to another are some of the pranks they perform. In addition, interacting with the public, they go near the viewers to make them laugh, scaring the children, breaking a tender coconut shell with their teeth and drinking it, eating bananas like a monkey are other pranks they do.
In the midst of all these pranks the dancers still maintain the dance rhythm in tune to the drum beats and the music of the Nadaswaram.
Other forms of the art
Variants of this dance are performed widely across Tamil Nadu. However, these are not accepted as a proper art form by scholars in folklore. The dances of people who are recipients of Hanuman's grace are also called Hanuman Aattam. But these also do not fall under this art form.
The dance which is shown by making a real monkey dance in front of audience is also called Kurangaattam. This is performed in southern India by people belonging to the Kaattu Nayakkar and Pullukkettu Nayakkar castes. These are performed mainly to showcase the skills and talents of their pet monkeys and also for the food, groceries and money which are given at the households where this is performed. Scholars do not accept this dance also as a proper art form of Hanuman Aattam.
The key difference between the variants explained above and Hanuman Aattam is that, in Hanuman Aattam, the dance is performed to the rhythm of the drumbeat and the musical instruments that are played. Entertainment of the viewing public is the common objective for both forms of the dance.
Hanuman dancer : The supporting performers in Karakattam disguise themselves as Hanuman and perform this art.
- Monkey mask
- Green colored wig
- Monkey tail
This dance, widely performed across Tamil Nadu, is done in those areas where there are higher population of Vaishnavas.
When Hanuman Aattam is performed as part of Karakattam, it is done in the same stage, stadium where Karakattam is performed. When Hanuman Aattam is performed in other festival processions, it happens in the streets where the local festivals happen.
- Thamizhaga Nattar Nigazhthu Kalaigal Kazhanjiam - A.K. Perumal
- Hanuman Aattam - Tamil Virtual Academy