|The first reference to devadasis in a literary work is in the Siva Bhakthikeerthanamala written by Cheraman Perumal Nayanar in 8th century AD. Detailed descriptions of devadasis are seen in the literary works Unniyachi Charitam, Unnuneeli Sandesam, Kaunothara, Utharachandrika and Vaisika Thanthram
written before 15th century. These books give evidence regarding the
devadasi centres at Odanadu, Kandiyoor (south Kerala), Mathilakam,
Kodungalloor, Trissoor, Chokiram (central Kerala), Thirumaruthoor,
Thrichambaram and Pallikkunnu (north Kerala). Sivavilasom written by Damodara Chakyar and Sukasandesam also contain references to the temple dances prevalent during those days.
- P J Cherian, Essays on the Cultural Formation of Kerala
|The Kharsawan Chhau does not use any masks except in a single item
‘Ganesh Bandana’ in which the mask is used to represent the facial
expressions of Lord Ganesh. Once upon a time, Kharsawan was also a
princely state. The Kharsawan style of Chhau dance is in fact a product
of fusion of the Mayurbhanj and Purulia styles of Chhau. It is also a
martial art form and its purity has been preserved by the indigenous
people of this area. Its more modern form owes much to the active
intervention of the kings of Kharsawan. Unfortunately this style is not
very popular. The main three styles of Seraikela, Mayurbhanj and Purulia
are recognized but Kharsawan has not been recognized. The music of
Kharsawan Chhau in many cases is based on local folk melodies and
jhoomur. Kharsawan Chhau also uses dhol, dhumsa, mohuri etc.
|Some scholars are of the opinion that probably the custom of dedicating
girls to temples became quite common in the 6th century CE, as most of
the Puranas containing reference to it have been written during this
period. Several Puranas recommended that arrangements should be made to
enlist the services of singing girls for worship at temples.