M.D. Muthukumaraswamy

M.D. Muthukumaraswamy is a Tamil writer, Director of National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai, and a Consultant at Sahapedia.

The disrobing of Draupadi is a central episode in the Bharathakoothu cycle of performances. This video clip captures how the Mahabharata episode is performed in the Arugavur village of Tamil Nadu. Performed in the early morning after an all-night performance of Koothu, the endless growth of Draupadi's sari, Duchchasana's fatigue, and the crying of 'Govinda' by the actor playing Draupadi, accentuate the violation done to Draupadi in the Kaurava court. Usually, the village women supply the saris needed for this performance. Many women go into a trance during this performance. The performance stops when a large number of people begin to shake violently in trance. Sometimes even the actor playing Duchchasana slips into trance. When the performance stops all the Koothu actors ask for the forgiveness of goddess Draupadi for enacting the disrobing episode.