Yamunabai Waikar
Born(1915-12-31)31 December 1915
Died15 May 2018(2018-05-15) (aged 102)
OccupationFolk artist
AwardsPadma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Maharashtra State Award
Ahilyabai Holkar Award
Nilu Phule Samman
SNA Tagore Ratna Samman
Aditya Vikram Birla Kalasikhara Award
Rasikmani Shrikrishna Pandit Uttung Gunagaurav Award
WebsiteOfficial web site

Yamunabai Waikar (31 December 1915 – 15 May 2018), née Yamunabai Vikram Jawle[1] was an Indian folk artist,[2] known for her expertise in the Marathi folk traditions of Lavani and Tamasha, folk art forms involving music and dance and reported to be one of the leading exponents of the art genres.[1][3][4] A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award,[5] she was honored by the Government of India, in 2012, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[6]


At the beginning, we sang the traditional laavnis, but when we realised that people liked to listen to film songs, we added those to our repertoire too, reminiscneces Yamnubai, on her Mumbai street days.[7]

Lavani dancers from sangeet bari genre don't use their full names. They use their initial name and afterwards a name of a encampment as their last, and supplement 'kar' to it, such as Shakuntala Nagarkar, writes Bhushan Korgaonkar, author of Sangeet Bari, a book on Lavani[8]

Yamunabai was born in Nunekalame village near Mahabaleshwar, in Satara district of Maharashtra in a family belonging to the Kolhati community.[9][10] Her father was reported to be a drunkard and her mother busked and Yamnunabai, being the eldest of the five children, performed street dances with her mother.[7] At the age of 10, she joined a folk art group from where she had her first lessons of Lavani. Later, when her father joined them, the family formed a Tamasha troupe with her father playing the Dholki while Bai and her cousin danced.[7]

Looking for better earnings, the family moved to Mumbai and Yamunabai started performing Lavani and film songs on the streets of Mumbai. Encouraged by the success of her street shows, she did a stage show, which launched her stage career lasting till 1975, when the popularity of cinema and diminishing audience affected the returns.[7] Though Yamunabai tried to revive her career once again forming a new troupe, gathering her nieces, the attempt was not successful. During this period, she is reported to have a completed a low cost housing project for the members of the Kolhati tribe, the tribe where she came from.[7]

Yamunabai has shared the stage with the renowned Kathak guru, Birju Maharaj, who is reported to have appreciated her performance in 1975, staged in Delhi.[8] The performance helped to revive her career once again and she had opportunity to perform in other parts of the country such as Kolkata, Bhopal, Raipur.[7]

Yamunabai died on 15 May 2018, at the age of 102.[11]

Awards and recognitions

Yamunabai Waikar is a recipient of several awards and honours such as the

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Sangit Kala Kendra". Sangit Kala Kendra. 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  2. ^ "IBN Live". IBN Live. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Planet Radio City". Planet Radio City. 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Flickr". Flickr. 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  5. ^ "SNA". Sangeet Natak Akademi. 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "TOI". Times of India. 11 February 2002. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b Bhushan Korgaonkar (23 July 2014). "Daily Graph". Report. Daily Graph. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  9. ^ "बैठकीच्या लावणीतील घरंदाज भावकामाचा गौरव". marathibhaskar. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  10. ^ "बैठकीची लावणी शिकवायचं राहून गेलं! -Maharashtra Times". Maharashtra Times. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Queen of Lavani Yamunabai Waikar passes away at 102". The Times of India. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  12. ^ "वैशाली जाधव-परभणीकर यांचा लावणी कलावंत पुरस्काराने सन्मान". Eenadu English Portal. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Web India". Web India. 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  14. ^ "DNA". DNA. 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  15. ^ "SNA Tagore Samman" (PDF). Sangeet Natak Akademi. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Manipur News". Manipur News. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Loksatta". Loksatta. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Uttung Award". Uttung Sanskrutik Pariwar. 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.