The Jain Manuscripts, especially the Kalpasutra and Kalkacharya Kathas show traces of Oriya dance style although they were being executed in Gujarat. The marginal figures of dancers show women in poses and movements similar to the distinctive style of Odissi. For example, in one of the famous illustrated Jain Manuscripts called the Devasanpada Kalpasutra (1501, Jamnagar), there is depiction of the Samapada, the Tribhangi and the Chauka.

The first evidence of the Mahari institution in Orissa comes from a commemorative inscription by Udyota Kesari, the last king of the dynasty. In the 10th century, the King’s mother Kolavati Devi, dedicated temple dancers to Lord Shiva in the Brahmeswara Temple.

The Marathi film ‘Dasis of Yellamma’ (37 mins-2011) directed by Suresh Chavan is about the practice of the Devdasi system where girls and boys are dedicated to the goddess Yellamma. They cannot marry or have a family life. This documentary attempts to bring to light the sufferings of these exploited people through visuals and interviews. The film depicts the Yellamma fair at Saundatti in Karnataka.

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