Kundapura Kannada: The Many Language Worlds of Karnataka
Panju Ganguli, S A Krishnaiah and Susheela Punitha
Prof. SA Krishnaiah is a writer-scholar, international folk artist, and founder of a manuscript archives museum, Prachya Sanchaya (Oriental Archives) Samshodhan Kendra (a unit of National Trust for Computation and Archival of Oriental Media). He is a resource person for folk theatre-puppetry, art historian, epigraphist, and UNESCO-ICH Fellow. An ex-Syndicate Member for Folklore University, he is a High-Committee Member for the Mysore University Oriental Research Institute.
SA Krishnaiah has worked as a folk lexicon editor for the Kannada language for Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts. His work on the Koraga tribal language lexicon is in progress. As an academician, he has done extensive work in preserving palm-leaf manuscripts and 15,000 handwritten paper manuscripts of Dasa literature.
He completed his post-graduation in Folklore and Post-Diploma in Epigraphy from Mysore University. He has lectured in Heidelberg, Germany and coordinated for the international seminars held at Udupi. He has continued work on the Tagore & Arnold Bake 1938 Restudy Regional Archives, and is currently working on pocket dictionaries for the Tulu and Koraga languages. He is also working as an eco-activist for endangered species for the Green India Vision, with a focus on the talipot palm or Corypha umbraculifera traditionally used for manuscripts, disseminating over 49,000 seeds across the country.
As an artist and troupe leader in the Festival of India, he visited Stockholm (1987) and Cyprus, Tunisia, Turkey, and Malta (1988). He received a fellowship from the ICCR for higher study in Finland (1984) and the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2002) as a resource person in the field of Theatre working with La MaMa Theater, New York on an experimental play, The Rise and Fall of Timur the Lame. He has directed shadow puppet theatre presentations of the Ramayana and Mahatma Gandhi and conducted a workshop on puppetry at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, coinciding with the exhibition of paintings from the Hamzanama in 2008.
He has participated in international conferences, has written seven books in Kannada and English, including Karnataka-Puppetry (1988) and Urus of Mekkikattu (2013), and has several articles in international journals and encyclopedias.