Rajasthan - An Oral History

Rajasthan - An Oral History

Product ID: 11958

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Author: Rustom Bharucha
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 358
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143029592


An epic-style narrative that celebrates the living traditions of the desert. Informal in its discourse and packed with nuggets of folk wisdom, this work, based on conversations with Komal Kothari, brings out the diversities and play of local traditions.

For over five decades, Komal Kothari has journeyed through Rajasthan exploring its rich cultural and musical traditions. Neither an old-fashioned seer nor a modern academician, he has developed an understanding of people's knowledge systems in a manner that is uniquely his own. In this book, Rustom Bharucha attempts to map his vast experience of the desert, drawing on extended and freewheeling conversations with Kothari.

Weaving in and out of several context, Kothari's interconnected reflections on land, water, agriculture, irrigation, livestock, sati and shrines supplement his observations on musical and performance traditions - puppetry, Teratali, and the folk songs of the Langas and Manganiyars. Geography colors the chants and vocal improvisations of nomads, and agriculture is embedded in the performative rituals of pastoral communities. Also discussed here are the intellectual property right of folk musicians in an electronic age, and the challenge of globalization. The outcome of this process of recording India's master folklorist itself becomes a history, in its frame, texture and timbre.

While being a major contribution to the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, and cultural and performance studies, this book can be enjoyed by all those drawn by the spell of Rajasthan and its treasure trove of folklore and life.


Notes on Diacritics
Note on CD

INTRODUCTION: Listening to Komalda

The Past in the Present
Oral Epics
Folk Gods and Goddesses
Women's Songs
Professional Caste Musicians
>From the Local to the Global: Rajasthan Folk Music in Performance
Marketing the Folk