India | Andhra Pradesh


Kommulavaru is a community of folk singers of Andhra Pradesh. They are named so because during the songs they use a horn shaped wind instrument made of brass called ‘kommulavaru.’ The songs are based on the battles fought between the Yadava and Nelluru Chola clans between 1280 and 1297. Members of the Kommulavaru community are believed to be the descendants of Biruidu, an ally of the Yadavas during the war. These folk artists are therefore provided patronage by the Yadava community.

The folk singer, while singing, keeps with him the ‘kommu’ (a horn like wind instrument), ‘viranam’ (a percussion instrument), ‘bollavu’ (a wooden or brass idol of a holy cow that is believed to have helped the Yadavas in the war), ‘viratadu’ (a whip used on the possessed persons), an idol of Lord Basavadeva and ‘guradu’ (a tent to hang the paintings of Goddess Ganga).

The main artist attires in a long red shirt, a big turban and a waistband. He wears tiny bells on his ankles and holds a scarf in his hands while performing the songs. His assistants, called ‘vantalu,’ provide the music and repeat the first lines of each stanza sung by him. The ‘kommu’ is blown at regular intervals during the song, producing a trumpet-like sound.

Updated on 16th June, 2015


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