Karnataka has a rich tradition of folk arts and folklore. Different branches of folk art like singing, drama, dance and puppet shows are popular in the rural parts of Karnataka. On different festivals and especially during Dasara these artistes visit the city of Mysore and perform. In the olden days they performed before the King, today they perform on the streets of Mysore or in specially designated areas during Dasara. Presentation of Folk Art by popular folk groups of the state has become an established and regular part of the Dasara celebrations.
These folk artistes form part of the famous Dasara procession as well.
Bessu Kamsale, Somanakunitha and Yasksghagana the popular folk art of
Karnataka form an integral part of the Dasara celebrations and the
procession. Beesu Kamasale has been recognized as a leading folk art of
India and many leading groups have taken part in national and
international cultural festivals. Yakashgana is a nightlong stage play,
where the actors enact episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata
throughout the night.
This folk art is especially popularly in Dakshina Kannada and Uttara
Kannada districts of Karnataka are performed in Mysore. Folk art or
indigenous art is an integral part of rural life and is handed down from
generation to generation by word of mouth. Recognizing its importance
Mysore University has set up a museum of Folk arts to collect artifacts
related to the different folk arts in Karnataka. The University has also
introduced a course in Folkarts at the Master's Degree level.