October 2008



  1. Digital Community Archives
  2. Encyclopaedia Indica
  3. NFSC News
  4. Events Calendar


Full archives of Ishani – a bi-monthly journal of Mahatma Gandhi Ishani Foundation that aims at being a communication bridge between the North-east and the rest of the country – are available on the NFSC portal for journals.

You can also find full archives of the Indian Folklore Research Journal on the site. The deadline for receipt of articles and book reviews for this year’s issue of the IFRJ is October 15. Details of books for which reviews have been invited are here.

Click on the journal names to access them.

Journals that have invited contributions include Crossovers, Journal of Tribal Studies and Journal of Theatre and Drama. Those interested in contributing may contact the editors directly at the contact details provided on the portal.


The NFSC has been invited to participate in several conferences that have not been announced on our portal. More details under the NFSC News heading on the right

Mail info@indianfolklore.org for help with putting your conferences online.


The NFSC would be offering courses online that can be taken by independent scholars, students or teachers as part of a curriculum or as stand-alone modules. The site offers the convenience of online learning and access to several other resources. Click here to visit the site.

The NFSC has commissioned three new courses titled ‘Folk Music of Bengal: A Theoretical Study’, ‘Tamil Narrative Theatre: Villupaattu’ and ‘South Indian Temple Architecture’ for the site.


NFSC has brought out the following books recently:

  1. Oral Epics of Kalahandi
    Mahendra Kumar Mishra
  2. Epic of the Warriors
  3. Mailaralinga Jatre

Click on the titles for details.

The NFSC will shortly be bringing out a book on the Digital Community Archives, based on the experimental project that is being implemented in six locations. Those interested in contributing may mail info@indianfolklore.org


Jenu Kuruba tales are now available on our wiki.

The NFSC has also acquired full Vedic chanting in the MP3 format of all the Vedas. These are available in the Archives section at the Centre.

The archives also provide audio recordings of earlier lectures and research presentations. Look at the list of events on this page for more details on these recordings.

October 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the National Folklore Support Centre! We are glad to announce that the NFSC has been invited as an international observer to the third session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage organized by UNESCO at Istanbul, Turkey, in November.

Continuing our UNESCO connection, we met Judith Espinar, Founding Chair of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and Charlene Cerny, Executive Director of the Market, at the dinner hosted for the Jury of the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts by the Crafts Council of India at the Madras Club on September 24, 2008.

Our Administrative Officer Geetha Rajagopal and I went on a short field visit to inspect the Digital Community Archive in Arangottukara, Thrissur, Kerala. Field work officers have been packed off to Piparia in Madhya Pradhesh and H.D. Kote, Karnataka, barely weeks after their field visits to the Nari Kurava archive in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, and the Serikela Chhau archive at Jharkhand. You can read the Nari Kurava field report here and the Seraikela Chhau field report here.

Dr. Rita Rajan, retired Head of Department of the Music Department, Queen Mary’s College, delivered the Padmashree Komal Kothari Endowment Lecture on the theme, ‘Folk Time Measures Adapted in Art Music’. at the Kalakshetra auditorium to a receptive audience of students and teachers.

In case you haven’t noticed it already, our homepage has been redesigned. Do tell us how much you love our new look. Criticism will also be accepted in moderate doses.

Read on for more news and details of this month’s events at the Centre.


The NFSC is glad to adopt a useful new tool for writing field work/ethnographic reports. This open source software can be downloaded for free and will also be useful for those interested in creating lexicons for the languages of indigenous communities. The NFSC will shortly be offering training in the use of this software on its online learning site.

Our fieldwork officers and collaborators continue to be busy setting up the Digital Community Archives. They have uploaded photographs and other items including newspaper clippings relating to the Nari Kurava archive and the Seraikela Chhau archive.

You can follow the links from www.wiki.indianfolklore.org for regular updates on the archives.


We are glad to announce that we are now accepting contributions for the Encyclopaedia Indica. Letters inviting contributions have been sent to folklorists and other potential contributors. Find out how you can contribute here.

As part of the series of workshops accompanying attempts to collect art for the Encyclopaedia project, the Gond painting workshop was held on September 11. The Kalamkari painting workshop has been scheduled to run between October 31 and November 14. Read our pamphlet published for a similar workshop held in the year 2000 for more information on the form and our resource persons.


NFSC has been invited to participate in several conferences. They are:

- Seminar on ‘Violence and the Performing Arts’ being organized by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, at the Regional Resource Centre for Folk Performing Arts, Udupi, Karnataka, on December 13 and 14. The conveners can be reached at grbapat@gmail.com

- The Indian Folklore Congress on the theme ‘Folklore and Indian Social Discourse’ being held at the Dravidian University, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, from December 18 to 20. The local Secretary of the Congress can be reached at psubbachary@gmail.com

- A festival of folk tales in performance titled ‘Under the Sal Trees’ at Rampur village, Goalpura district, Assam, on November 22 and 23. For more information, mail kanhailal@rediffmail.com

Jennifer Pfieffer, doctoral candidate from the Victoria College of Arts, University of Melbourne, will be affiliated to the NFSC for her research on traditional puppetry in India. ‘Her goal is to bring to attention ethical and informed modes of conduct that may guide inter-cultural encounters between artists,’ writes Kym Williams, Acting Head of Department, Victoria College of Arts.

Readers will recall that we had announced our collaboration with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) in our first newsletter. The collaboration involved assisting in scholarly study of the lost-wax technique of bronze casting practiced by the artisans of Swamimalai. Adolpho Muniz, an anthropological archaeologist for the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archeology (CISA3) at the UC San Diego branch of Calit2, had spent some weeks in Swamimalai collecting ethnographic data about hereditary bronze-casters.

Following this, ‘Masters of Fire’, a special exhibition at the UC San Diego’s Geisel Library, opens on Sunday, October 5. It traces the history of metal icon production in the town of Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu. In video, photographs, artifacts, statues and interactive computer animation, the exhibition will introduce visitors to ancient metallurgical technologies still in use and the families of hereditary bronze casters who trace their lineage and craft back nearly 1,000 years. Curated by UCSD Professor of Anthropology Tom Levy, ‘Masters of Fire’ is based on a new book of the same name co-authored by Levy with wife Alina Levy and three of Swamimalai’s most accomplished craftsmen. The exhibition runs October 5 through late January 2009.

Our director M.D. Muthukumaraswamy would be participating in a workshop on ‘Staging Religion’ to be organized by the University of Heidelberg and would present a lecture-cum-workshop on South Indian folklore at the University of Wurzburg afterward this month.


Friends in Chennai, please do make time to participate in our events to promote folk arts and contribute to discourse on folklore in the city!

T. B. Dinesh will be speaking on ‘Social Uses of Wiki’ at the Centre at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 23, 2008.

The Tamilnadu Thiraipada Iyakkam and NFSC jointly present films of Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak at 6 p.m. on October 29, ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1958/B&W/120 mins) and on October 30, ‘Ajantrik’ (1960/B&W/95 mins).

NFSC presents ‘Loving Teacher/Truth and Joy of Science’ as part of the films from the Shikshantar Andolan series on ‘Re-membering Nai Taleem’ on October 14 at 6 p.m.

- Malarvizhi. J
Programme Officer (Publications and Communication)

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 and folklore advocacy with public programming events. 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.

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NFSC, 508, Fifth Floor, “Kaveri Complex”, 96, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam,
Chennai- 600034, Tamilnadu, India

Ph.:044-28229192, 044- 42138410, 044-28212706


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