June 2010


Table of Contents


From our Seraikella Digital Community Archive

From our Orissa Digital Community Archive

From our Madhya Pradesh Digital Community Archive

From our Jenukuruba Digital Community Archive

From our Ashakulam Digital Community Archive

Encyclopaedia Indica

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Gives to NFSC

You can donate online to strengthen the National Folklore Support Centre.

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Events Calendar:

June 23

Contemporary World Cinema (CWC) along with NFSC will screen the film “The White Ribbon“(Directed by Michael Haneke/France/2009) at 6:00 p.m.

June 24

CWC along with NFSC will screen the film “Broken Embraces” (Directed by Pedro Almadovar/120 min/Spain/2009) at 6:00 p.m.

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From Our Journal Portal:

Latest issues of Panuval and Ishani can be accessed at our Journal Portal. You can also view the full archives of Panuval and Ishani at the Journal Portal. NFSC Books and Monographs can also be accessed at our Journal Portal. As you all must be aware that this service was launched as there is no existing software to help authors and scholars to publish their books and monographs online.

Keeping with our tradition for innovation, we have customized the open journal system to do the same. You too can send in your contributions to muthu@indianfolklore.org

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Encyclopaedia Indica:

We have some new entries on our Encyclopaedia Indica. Find out more about the folklore related to the Camel on our site apart from the articles on the Neem Tree and the Dilo Oil Tree. You can also find interesting articles and folk-tales related to Cobra. These articles were contributed by Lalitha Ramadurai and
N. Amirthalingam.

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Volunteer at NFSC:

We invite volunteers who can contribute online or at the Centre. Online volunteers can help with our website and wiki as contributors or editors. Volunteering at the Centre would involve helping organise programmes or workshops in colleges, schools or corporate houses. Those interested in volunteering can register online here or send in profile, bio-data, letter of interest, areas of work and experience and commitment of time to the address provided below.

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Howdy Friends!

Loveliest greetings to all of you from the National Folklore Support Centre!

Not letting ourselves be complacent after being accorded the prestigious status of the first Indian non-profit channel on You Tube, we have made sure that the channel is always bustling with updates. Apart from documentaries we now have exclusive videos of the various dance compositions in Chhau from our Seraikella archive. Compositions like Pataka, Rathri, Nabik and more to follow will definitely keep you asking for more, especially so if you are an avid dance enthusiast. Please do visit the site and subscribe to our channel to stay connected to the latest we have to offer you. Make sure you do not miss any of the action as these documentaries and videos can be viewed from the absolute comfort of your homes or office. Having said that, there is nothing that makes us happier than receiving your feedbacks, even if it is negative [Yes! We love criticism] because these valuable inputs help us raise the bar to reach perfection!

NFSC News:

As mentioned in our May Newsletter, the accrediting of NFSC by UNESCO in the forthcoming third session of the General Assembly to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, will be taking place from 22 to 24 June 2010 at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. Its is indeed an illustrious moment for all of us and we are eagerly looking forward to the big day! We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us throughout our humble expedition and helped us achieve the status we have now. Our trustees and staff met at Chennai on May 29 2010 for a Board meeting to discuss and evaluate our Digital community archives.

This month our director, M.D Muthukumaraswamy will be visiting Ethiopia, one of the most ancient countries in the world and one of the oldest sites of human existence. He will be visiting Addis Ababa, the big, sprawling, hospitable political capital of Ethiopia that still bears the stamp of the exuberant personality of its founder, Emperor Menelik. Starting from June 12 to July 10 2010, M.D Muthukumaraswamy will be teaching at University of Addis Ababa, as a visiting professor on the subject “Culture and Development” in order to launch their graduate program in Folklore.

From Seraikella Digital Community Archive:

It was a vibrant Seraikella that visitors witnessed for the three days that saw marvellous performances and heavy footfall marking the celebration of Chhau Mahotsav in the district from April 30 to May 02. All those who gathered at the venue were treated to martial and folk dances from various parts of India apart from Singua, Manbhum, Purulia, Mayurbhanj and Seraikella Chhau at the grand festival organised by the Seraikella-Kharsawan district administration in association with Jharkhand tourism. Exponents from the field of Chhau as well as celebrities from the film and folk music industry enthralled audiences with scintillating performances. The idea behind a festival of this stature is to promote the traditional dance form of the state as well as promote the artists who need to be brought to the forefront. The fact that Chhau Mahotsov brings various styles of Chhau together on one platform is itself unique and praiseworthy.

Several issues pertaining to the dance form and its progress were discussed at a meeting that was held by the Chhau academy together with our Digital Community Archive and plans were made to host an event specially for Kharswan Chhau. This event will conduct a seminar on Chhau and also be a platform to stage nearly six to seven tribal dances that are found in the tribal villages around Seraikella.

From our Orissa Digital Community Archive:

The Digital Community Archive set up by NFSC, in collaboration with Adibasi Sanskruti Gabesana Parishad [ASGP] at Sinapali in the district of Nuapada, Orissa for preserving the rich cultural practices and expressions prevalent in the region has come a long way since its inception. The districts of Kalahandi and Nuapada plagued by chronic drought and water shortage represent a wide range of traditional as well as socio-cultural diversity, being home to a variety of ethnic groups including the Gonds and Bhunjias. The newly updated website of ASGP has a dedicated page for NFSC’s Digital Community Archive.

From our Ashakulam Digital Community Archive:

Our fieldworkers were busy this month documenting the Buffalo sacrifice ritual of the Narikuravas. Buffalo sacrifice is a prayer-ritual offered to their deity Kaali. Of the various clans of the community like Chakkaravaala, Jaambavaala, Meyvaada and Daabi, Kaali is the deity of Chakkravaala and Jaambavaala clans. A three day ritual took place from May 15 -17, 2010 at Mambazhapattu near Villupuram where various clans gathered. One of our archive management committee members and community leader, Lighter took part in the ritual after two years. Interviews were also conducted with various members of the clans assembled at the event.

From our Madhya Pradesh Digital Community Archive:

In Madhya Pradesh NFSC has collaborated with an organisation called JATAN for establishing a Digital Community Archive on the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh. JATAN is located in Pipariya, Hoshangabad district. Our fieldworkers here strive to work towards conducting programmes that are artistic interventions in search of the identity of the community using help from the community itself. For more details on the association of NFSC with the JATAN trust please visit the website of the trust.

From our Jenukuruba Digital Community Archive:

Our colleagues Vinodh Prem Dhas and M. Dhivya visited our archive at H.D Kote for a week to give the field staff and other colleagues working closely with us hands on training in handling audio and video equipments, still camera, transferring of data to computer, web browsing, uses of YouTube, Picasa and photo editing. Training on Language Archiving Technology [LAT] software was also part of the Technical Training Programme. Discussions were also held with our collaborator Prof. Kikkeri Narayan about the dictionary project for the Jenukuruba. A Citizen Committee similar to the one formed at the Tamil Nadu and Seraikella archives was successfully formed for the proper management of the archive. Somanna, a leader from the community, Mara, a Jenukuruba teacher from the Basavanagiri school, Chinnappa, an active participant in our Yajamana workshop, Chikmara, Gange and Kenchaiah, the Buddakkattu Krishikara Sang (BKS) President form the management committee.

A 10 day tribal festival was organised by Bhoomigeeta, a group comprising of writers and artists like Kikkeri Narayan and Ksheerasagar both working with NFSC, V.Manohar, a famous Kannada music director and Jenny, a popular singer. During the course of this festival, artists from the Jenukuruba and Bettakuruba community trained a group of youngsters in tribal music and dance.

Our Medicinal plant garden at the archive which already has more than 50 varieties of herbal plants saw the addition of 15 more plants that were taken from the interiors of Manimule Haadi.

Encyclopaedia Indica:

A major makeover is underway at our Encylcopaedia Indica.

In he meantime you can enjoy reading the latest contribution, “The Story of The First Mocking Bird” at M.D. Muthukumaraswamy’s NFSC Lore. You can also find out “Why the Parrot repeats the words of men”, “Why the Peetweet cries for rain” and “Why the dove is timid” and other interesting stories of the first frog and the first hummingbird as well as the first woodpecker.

We will be back again next month with more appetizing news from our community archives and interesting updates from our sites. Meanwhile, enjoy the swan song of summer, take care and stay cool!!!

- Aakaash Nair

Programme Officer (Publications and Communication) NFSC

National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, registered in Chennai, dedicated to the promotion of Indian folklore research, education, training, networking, and publications. The aim of the Centre is to integrate scholarship with activism, aesthetic appreciation with community development, comparative folklore studies with cultural diversities and identities, dissemination of information with multi-disciplinary dialogues, folklore fieldwork with developmental issues, folklore advocacy with public programming events and digital technology with applications to voice the cultures of the marginalised and historically disadvantaged communities. Folklore is a tradition based on any expressive behaviour that brings a group together, creates a convention and commits it to cultural memory. NFSC aims to achieve its goals through cooperative and experimental activities at various levels. NFSC is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Tata Education Trust.

The NFSC is a member of the Credibility Alliance. For information on the NFSC Board of Trustees, Staff, Annual Audit Reports and details of programme development, click here. To unsubscribe from this newsletter, mail info@indianfolklore.org. You can also give feedback, suggestions or criticism at info@indianfolklore.org NFSC, 508, Fifth Floor, ‘Kaveri Complex’, 96, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034, Tamilnadu, India
Phone: 044-28229192, 044-42138410, 044-28212706


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