Hasthabhinaya, or ‘Expression of the Hand’ and the rules of acting with the hand implies story telling with the hands.

As we mentioned earlier, the hand gestures of Mohiniyattam are mostly drawn from Hasthalakshnadeepika. But each dance form has brought about its own minor alterations in the pattern and presentation of these hastamudras to suit the special needs. This is true in the case of Mohiniyattam as well. Even though this lyrical dance form has accepted its basic 24 mudras from Hasthalakshnadeepika, it has also adopted some classic mudras from Abhinayadarpana and Balaramabharatham.

In the earlier part of this series, we described many samutha mudras and asamutha mudras with their usage and notation. Some of the misra mudras(each hand showing different mudras simultaneously) were also explained in detail. Here we are exploring a few more asamyutha mudras and their various usages.


Start the viniyoga in Hamsapaksham near the ear and rotate the palm to Mushti. Follow this movement by ‘throwing’ the palm to side while opening the mudra again to Hamsapaksham.

In the highest degree

Hold Hamsapaksham mudra with palm facing forward to the side of the head, near the ear. Form Mushti Hastha and open the palm again.

Hold Mushti Hastha near the chest and open the palm moving it slightly forward with little force as shown in the image.


Hold Mushti mudra under the chin with the head slightly bent.look upwards to the side as if looking at someone.


Rotate the hand in Mushti Hastha using the wrist in a circle. This movement is done near the body and is followed by push the hand forward.


Commence the Viniyoga in Hamsapaksham facing the body. Move the hand in a circle near the chest while forming Mushti Hastha.


Extend Mushti Hastha forward and slowly open the hand as if giving something to someone.


Guru Nirmala Paniker is a danseuse, choreographer and researcher of repute. She established Natanakaisiki, the dance research and training wing of Natanakairali.

Leave A Reply