Rajasthan An Oral History: Conversations with Komal Kothari

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Item Code: IHL265
Author: Rustom Bharucha, Conversations with Komal Kothari
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 9780143029595
Pages: 358
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.8 Inch X 5.2 Inch
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From the Book

Rustom Bharucha is an independent writer, theatre director, and cultural Critic, based in Kolkata. A leading theorist of interculturalism and the impact of globalization on local and indigenous cultures, he is the author of several books including Theatre arid the World, The Question of Faith, In the Name A of the Secular, and The Politics of Cultural Practice.

Back of the Book

An epic-style narrative that celebrates the living traditions of the desert.

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 contexts, Kothari’s interconnected reflections on land, water, agriculture, irrigation, livestock, sati and shrines supplement his observation on musical and performance traditions-puppetry, Teratali, and the folk songs of the Langas and Manganiyars. Geography colours 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 rights 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.

Informal in its discourse and packed with nuggets of folk wisdom, Rajasthan brings out the diversities and play of local traditions. 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.




  Acknowledgements vii
  Note on Diacritics ix
  Note on CD x
  Introduction: Listening To Komalda 1
1 The Past In The Present 16
2 Land 36
3 Water 64
4 Oral Epics 86
5 Folk Gods And Goddesses 118
6 Sati 137
7 Women’s Songs 156
8 Teratali 181
9 Puppetry 198
10 Professional Caste Musicians 217
11 From The Local To The Global: Rajasthani Folk Music in Performance 236
12 Marketing The ‘Folk’ 266
  Afterword 289
  Notes 296
  Appendices 330
  Bibliography 335
  Glossary 341
  Index 350


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