Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

My first visit to the Indian Himalayas in 1999 was a journey to understand the country where my father had been raised and where my grandparents had spent more than fifty years of their lives. I could not have guessed that I would be dedicating much of the next fifteen years of my life to the region, but I am indebted to my grandparents and my father for planting the seeds. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

In April 2005 I attended the video shoot for the singer Mehindra Chauhan’s new album Meenu Ai in his village in the northwest corner of the Garhwal Himalayas. A production team of about fifteen individuals, including the producer, director, drivers, makeup artists, soundmen, lighting assistants, actors, and cameramen, assembled at Chauhan’s home after a seven-hour drive up the Yamuna River valley ...

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1. The Emergence of the Folk Concept in Colonial Uttarakhand

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pp. 25-50

This chapter offers evidence from the central Himalayas to support the claim that the contemporary concept of lok in South Asia—whether articulated as lok sangeet (folk arts), lok dharm (folk religion), or lok sanskriti (folk culture)—is rooted in the colonial encounter and in the colonial imposition of the folk concept and the methods of folkloristics.1 ...

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2. Mohan Upreti and the Assimilation of Folk Music in Nehruvian India

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pp. 51-72

This chapter examines the crystallization of the folk concept in the policies of the Nehruvian state and the writings and cultural performances of urban intellectuals in mid-twentieth-century India. In particular, I focus on the contributions of Mohan Upreti (1925–1997), a Kumaoni composer, author, director, performer, political activist, and folklorist who was perhaps most responsible for the dissemination ...

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3. Turning Dying Folk into Living Folk: The Musical Activism of Narendra Singh Negi

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pp. 73-104

On my first visit to the town of Pauri, Garhwal, in July 2005, I walked from the bus stand through small, crowded lanes in the bazaar, stopping periodically to ask people the location of Narendra Singh Negi’s house. The shopkeepers all pointed vaguely in the same general direction. As I walked through the bustling bazaar, I became aware of Negi’s voice emanating from cassette and VCD players in several of the shops. ...

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4. The Folk Sound without the Folk Body: Sohan Lal and the Rhizophonics of Dhol-Damaun

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pp. 105-130

Since the 1980s, the growth of political regionalism and of the privatized music industry in India has created opportunities for cultural entrepreneurs to codify national and regional heritage and to forge new income-earning opportunities. In Uttarakhand and a variety of other regions, lok sanskriti (folk culture) has been celebrated in the official state discourse ...

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5. Professional Female Singers and the Gendering of Folk

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pp. 131-157

Women’s music has assumed an important position in scholarship concerning South Asian folklore and folk music of the past several decades (Capila 2002; Flueckiger 1991; Jassal 2012; Narayan 1993, 1997; Raheja and Gold 1994; Ramaswamy 1994; Srivastava 1991; Tyagi 1993). The scholarly focus on women’s music in studies of “folk culture” is in part a corrective to late colonial ...

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6. The Goddess Plugged In: Pritam Bhartwan and the Commodification of Possession Rituals

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pp. 158-184

A conch (shankh) and temple bells ring out as the dholak and tabla begin to sound an elaborate dhunyal pattern. Standing in front of the Sirkanda Devi temple near Mussoorie in a white and red kurta-pajama and red scarf, Pritam Bhartwan lip-synchs to his own audio recording while smiling and gesticulating to the cameras. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 185-190

This book has offered a series of historical and ethnographic perspectives about the concept of folk music in the Indian Himalayas. After exploring a range of performers and performances, it should be evident why I have not offered a single definition of folk music. Folk music is best understood as a multidimensional concept that has been instrumentalized by a range of individuals and communities for various political and economic ends. ...

Notes

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pp. 191-202

Glossary

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pp. 203-206

Bibliography

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pp. 207-224

Index

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pp. 225-228

About the Author

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Further Series Titles

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