100 years of Thakurmar Jhuli (Grandmother’s Bag of Tales): From Oral Literature to Digital Media - Shaping Thoughts for the Young and Old

Lopamudra Maitra


Storytelling has occupied an important place through time in cultures across the globe. The collection in Thakurmar Jhuli is classified into four distinct categories–Tales of adventures (Dudher Sagar), Tales of demons (Roop Tarashi), Animals and Humorous tales (Chang Bang), and Poems explaining the ritual of putting the children to sleep at the end of the stories (Aam Sandesh). This paper attempts to look into the aspects of transmission of these stories through the various media, the messages conveyed thereby and, the importance of the survival of oral tradition through changing media over a period of time. Thakurmar Jhuli  is a compilation that is not limited to children alone, but over the years, has found tremendous response amongst the adults as well. This further tries to examine how these narratives serve as instruments of reinventing culture. Illustrations from the original printed publication is appended to this essay.

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