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Burrakatha plays


  • Telugu folk plays that combine dances, recitations, and songs to relate the narrative.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Burrakatha plays
  • Variants

    • Burra katha plays
    • Burrakatha drama
    • Burrakathe plays
    • Jangam katha plays
    • Saradakatha plays
    • Suddulu plays
    • Tamboorakatha plays
    • Tandana katha plays
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Burrakatha, 200-?
    • found: The Oxford companion to Indian theatre, 2004(entry: Burrakatha; narrative folk form from Andhra Pradesh featuring a burra (tambura) and gummetas (2 small one-sided earthen drums) to accompany the singing)
    • found: Wikipedia, Apr. 23, 2013(Burra katha, also spelled burrakatha or burrakathe; a narrative entertainment that consists of prayers, solo drama, dance, songs, poems and jokes. The topic will be either a Hindu mythological story or a contemporary social problem)
    • found: Burrakatha loses sheen sans patronage, via The times of India website, May 13, 2013(The ancient art form of Burrakatha, practised for ages by travelling minstrels, popularly known as Jangams - a gypsy tribe; A popular art form in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Burrakatha was once used as a medium to awaken people, especially during the freedom struggle; The art form was widely used by the communist revolutionaries of Telangana to obtain converts to the movement with great success. Today, Burrakatha is a reflection of debasement and debauchery, actively influenced by the film industry. Raunchy and suggestive numbers have replaced the rustic folk songs of yore, much to the chagrin of connoisseurs; first start by choosing a theme from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and then incorporate these numbers into the narration. The first ten minutes of the show and the rest of it that follows have nothing in common)
    • found: Burrakatha, via Vepachedu website, May 13, 2013(Burrakatha is a Telugu art of story telling. In the coastal Andhra region, burrakatha is called jangam katha. In Telangana, it is also known as tamboorakatha or saradakatha. In Rayalaseema, it is known as Tandana katha or suddulu. Usually, this art is practiced by a team of two or three people from the same family of certain castes/tribes like picchuguntla or jangalu. Burrakatha narrators are also known as Saradagallu. In this form of narration the main storyteller tells the story while playing a tambura (a stringed instrument) and dancing wearing andelu (anklets). One or two associates or sidekicks assist the narrator with small drums called gummeta or budike. Telangana narrators use budige tambura, while Rayalaseema and Andhra narrators use padige tambura with a hood. Some use brass drums and others use earthen drums. Telangana narrators consider their tambura as goddess Sarada and hence they are known as Saradagallu. Telangana narrators do the performance while sitting, where as Andhras tell stories while standing. In Rayalaseema the main narrator tells the story while holding a stick, while his associates play tambura and drums; During the independence movement (first half of 20th century) in the Indian continent, Burrakatha was brought into mainstream in Andhra Pradesh and was used for political purposes.)
    • found: Nrityanjali Academy folk theatre website, May 13, 2013(Burrakatha is the most popular form of narrative entertainment in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In this theatrical form, a storyteller accompanied by his partner gives recitals for two or three days. He sings dances and recites a story, before the people of a village under the patronage of a village elder. Performance begins in the evening with devotional songs in praise of various celestial beings. Then the performer introduces the main story by establishing the place, time and historical context of the action. During this the rajkiya and hasyam repeat the refrain of the narrative. When the introduction is concluded, the main plot begins in which all three perfomers take an active role assuming various characters in the incidents, as well as providing narrative bridges between incidents. Dance, recitation, song and enactment of scenes provide variation within a strong narrative line. Generally a story continues for two to three hours. A longer work may be serialized into several consecutive evenings. Burrakatha stories fall into three categories - mythological, historical and sociopolitical. Although the form was originally improvised, today popular stories have been written down and committed to memory by performers.)
  • General Notes

    • Telugu folk plays that combine dances, recitations, and songs to relate the narrative.
  • Change Notes

    • 2016-04-08: new
    • 2016-06-03: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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