|Snippets of Information |
Dance - Literature
* 11 Nov 2022
24 hand gestures or the Hastas has been codified in the Hasta Lakshana Deepika
or Hastas plays the most important role in Angika Abhinaya. It has the
place of alphabets in a language. Hastas convey the meaning of a song,
helps in expressing an emotion better through gestures according to the
situation and hence making it a visual treat for the Rasikas or the
Each of the fingers has a name.
1. Little finger - Kanishta
2. Ring Finger - Anamika
3. Middle Finger - Madhyama
4. Index Finger - Tharjani
5. Thumb - Angushtam
These fingers are used to portray the 24 hand gestures or the Hastas
which has been codified in the Hasta Lakshana Deepika which literally
means the Lamp showing the Purpose of Hand Gestures (of which the author
is unknown). It should been noted that the Asamyutha Hastas (Single
Hand Gestures) classified in the Natyashastra is slightly different from
those in Hasta Lakshana Deepika. Mohiniyattam follows the Abhinaya
concepts written in Hasta Lakshana Deepika and Abhinaya Darpana (Mirror
of Gesture) authored by Nandikeswara.
Pathaka, Mudrakya, Katakam, Mushti, Kartharimukha, Shukathunda,
Kapithakam, Hamsapaksham, Shikaram, Hamsasyam, Anjali, Ardhachandram,
Mukuram, Bhramaram, Soochikamukham, Pallavam, Tripathakam,
Mrigasheersham, Sarpashiras, Vardhamanakam, Araalam, Oornanabham,
Mukhulam, Katakamukham are the 24 hand gestures.
Hastha Lakshana Deepika is a text exploring the hand gestures used in
dancing. Koodiyaatam, Kathakali and Kerala Natanam follow this as the
manual of gestures or 'mudras', which is believed to have been written
in Kerala. Hastha Lakshana Deepika recognizes 24 basic hand gestures
called 'chatur vimsathi mudras' and nearly 300 combined gestures.
Source: SEVENTY YEARS OF KERALA NATANAM by G Vinodini, Trivandrum, narthaki.com