Monday, January 16, 2012

scissor-faced, कर्तरीमुख, kartarī-mukha

कर्तनम् (kartanam) = something that has been cut. Even today the word for cloth clippings (as at a tailor shop) or newspaper cuttings are called कतरन (katarana).

कर्तरी (kartarī / kartarI ) = scissors. The modern Hindi word for scissors is कैंची (kai.nchī)

कर्तरीमुख (kartarī-mukha / kartarI-mukha) = scissor-faced.

Kartarī-mukha is a हस्तमुद्रा (hasta-mudrā / hasta-mudrA = hand gesture) in the classical Indian dance of भरतनाट्यम् (Bharatnāṭyam / bharata-nATyam = theatre/dance as per Bharata). The index and middle finger extend out like an open scissor. The dance has many hand gestures, both with one or two hands, apart from the body postures. The highly evolved dance form uses these postures to tell a story extremely well, with well-defined and language of gestures, along with rhythm of the music and footwork of the dance – an overall overload of senses and communication!

The kartarī-mukha gesture can denote – a scissor, separation of couple (viraha), opposition, to indicate the number two, even the corner of the eye (when turned horizontally, as also seen in Western dance moves where the hand is moved across the eye in a wavy fashion).

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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