Covid-19 impacts folk artistes

News: The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the livelihood of several folk artistes including ‘Behrupiyas’.


  • Behrupiya: The word behrupiya is a derivative of the Sanskrit word bahu (many) and roop (form).They are impersonators mostly known to perform in villages and markets all over India.
  • Where is it performed? It is performed in Indian States like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat as also some neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • Significance: 
    • Arthashastra makes a mention of religious processions in the Mauryan times where artistes dressed as gods and were taken out in tableaux all around the kingdom.
    • Due to their expertise with disguise and impersonation, behrupiya were recruited as spies by medieval Indian kings.

Additional Facts:

Other Traditional Theatre Artforms:

  • Bhand Pather: It is the traditional theatre form of Kashmir.
  • Bhavai: It is the traditional theatre form of Gujarat.
  • Maach: It is the traditional theatre form of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Bhaona: It is a presentation of the Ankia Naat of Assam.
  • Dashavatar: It is the most developed theatre form of the Konkan and Goa regions.
  • Krishnattam: It is a folk theatre of Kerala are based on the theme of Lord Krishna – his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds depicting victory of good over evil.
  • Mudiyettu: It is a traditional folk theatre form of Kerala that is celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December).
  • Koodiyattam: It is one of the oldest traditional theatre forms of Kerala, and is based on Sanskrit theatre traditions.
  • Yakshagaana: It is the traditional theatre form of Karnataka, is based on mythological stories and Puranas.
  • Therukoothu: It is the most popular form of folk drama of Tamil Nadu, literally means “street play”.It is mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest.