Kalbeliya: The Saperas of Rajasthan

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Craft Documentation: Kalbeliya - The Saperas of Rajasthan Author: Swarnali Roy National Institute of Design, Apparel Design, 2016 Guide: Mr. Amit Sinha © National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar Gujarat-382007 Ph: 079 2326 5500 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or translated in any form or any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Copyrights of all images/ artworks/ illustrations used in this document belong to their respective owner/ creator. Img Source: “Charming images of history: Kalbeliya memories of Itinerancy, Begging, and Snake services”, A thesis by Carter Hawthorne Higgins, 2010

K a l b e l i y a - The Saperas of Rajasthan A Documentation on the clothing of the women of Kalbeliya tribe and their dance costume

Document by Swarnali Roy Guide: Prof. Amit Sinha

1 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This craft documentation is based on the research conducted on the Kalbeliya tribe, their dance and their clothing, residing in Jaipur. This project would not have been possible without the help and kind support of various individuals. Each and every person I have met and spoken to during my field research have helped me take a step forward for the betterment of this project. Firstly, I would like to thank NID for introducing us to the world of crafts and giving us an opportunity to dig deep into our roots and connect the dots from the past to the present and future in context to culture, tradition and clothing. I would like to express my graditute to Mr. Amit Sinha, our Faculty Guide for the project for showing us directions and giving his valuable inputs throughout the duration of this project, Mrs. Shalini Singh, Visiting Faculty for Communication Graphic course module for helping me with the layout of the book, Mrs. Krishna Patel, Dean, NID, Gandhinagar, Ms. Sonal Chauhan, Course Lead, Apparel Design and the entire department of Apparel design for their constant support and encouragement. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mrs. Gulabo Sapera, Kalbeliya dancer and recipient of Padmashree Award, Mr. Puran Nath Sapera and his wife Mrs. Rajki Devi, Kalbeliya performers and all other members of the Kalbeliya community, I have met, for sharing their knowledge, thoughts and experiences regarding their history, lifestyle, tradition, customs, dance and clothing.

Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their constant support and also Ms. Homa Praveen, fellow classmate and Mr. Sudip Samanta, my best friend for being such wonderful travel companions.

2 | Acknowledgement

I would also like to thank Mr. Vinod Joshi, Community Director of Jaipur Virasat Foundation, for showing me his research work on Kalbeliya community and sharing his valuable thoughts and Mrs. Toolika Gupta for her guidance.

3 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

preface The National Institute of Design is internationally acclaimed as one of the finest educational and research institutions for Industrial, Communication, Textile and IT Integrated Design. It is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The mandate for NID is to offer worldclass design education and to promote design awareness and application towards raising the quality of life with many problem-solving capabilities, depths of intellect and a time-tested creative educational culture in promoting design competencies and setting standards of design education. Craft traditions in India continue to reflect diverse regional and socio-cultural profiles of the country. Frequently, craft traditions communicate important cultural concepts and function beyond their basic role of ornamentation and cultural expression. Traditionally, crafts were produced and managed by the craftsmen themselves. However, “Globalisation� demands innovative products, materials, and processes with new standards of quality and creativity. Design plays a major role in empowering the crafts and crafts persons, both as an enabler and a value adder. NID has always been closely associated with the craft sector and provides design intervention for craft, handloom, rural technology, small, medium and large-scale enterprises. The students have always been encouraged to study and work with different crafts and undergo a craft documentation, where they do a field research on a particular craft and document the same.

4 | Preface

This craft documentation mainly focuses on the people of the Kalbeliya tribe, their lifestyle, their culture and traditions, their social life, their traditional work as snake charmers, their daily wear attire, the Kalbeliya dance, its invention, the story of Gulabo Sapera and the changes that has taken place over the years in the dance form, with the primary focus being the dance costume. A detailed study of the costume has been done, which draws comparison between their traditional attire and the present day costume.

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CONTENTS 1. Introduction

................................... 8

2. Jaipur, Rajasthan • Location Map

.............................. 9-10

• Rajasthan

.............................. 11-12

• Jaipur How to Reach History Geography Climate Flora and Fauna Culture In and Around Jaipur

................................. 15 ................................. 16 ................................. 16 ................................. 16 ................................. 17 ............................ 17-20

• Kalbeliya Villages, Squatter Settlements and Camps

............................ 21-22

• Acharawala Village

............................ 23-24

3. Field Research

............................ 25-30

4. Kalbeliya: The Tribe • Introduction • Origin • Mapping their Journey

............................. 31-32 ............................. 33-35 ............................36-40

• • • • • • • •

Death Kinship System Occupations Language Festivals Crafts Dwelling and Habitat Kalbeliya: The Dance Form

.............................. 43 .............................. 44 .............................. 44 .............................. 44 .............................. 45 .............................. 46 ......................... 47-54 ......................... 55-56

6. Clothing of Kalbeliya Women • Clothing Tradition and Influences • Present Context • The Dance Costume of Kalbeliya Women • Makers and The Making • Process of Wearing

.......................... 57-58 ......................... 59-60 ......................... 61-66 ......................... 67-78 ......................... 79-80

7. Accessories

......................... 81-84

8. Present Scenario

......................... 85-86

9. Conclusion

......................... 87-88

10. Bibliography

......................... 89-90

• Birth • Marriage

................................. 41 ................................. 42

6 | Contents

5. Community and Culture

01 introduction

7 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Introduction Clothing is the first visible sign for group identity and a marker for a group affiliation. In addition, it is a marker of community status, marital status, gender and a number of other categories constructing the community identity. After understanding what exactly a craft documentation is, we started our research in order to chose a topic for the same. I went through a lot of books and previous year’s craft documents from the KMC. I have always had a keen interest towards folk dance costumes as they speak a lot about the social and cultural aspects of the tribe or community. After reading about the different folk dances from different states, what caught my interest was the Kalbeliya dance form and their unique costume.

The women dancers traditionally wear a black ensemble, that is made vibrant and colourful with the use of bright coloured piping and silver filigree embellishments, comprising of an ankle length skirt or ‘Ghaghra’, a mid-thigh length top or ‘Angrakhi’ and an ‘Odhani’ or a loose flowing stole pinned to their heads, along with metal and beaded jewellery which they make themselves. Img.1.1: A Kalbeliya woman performing in front of tourists

Img.1.2: A Kalbeliya woman with her daughter

8 | Introduction

The costume details, embellishments, symbolism, their pattern making, the garment construction, etc. is the main focus of this document, along with the study of their lifestyle and attire. The field research was conducted in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan and its outskirts. This document is intended to give people an overall picture about the Kalbeliya tribe, their dance form and costume that might inspire the younger generation to come forward and indulge themselves in such folk culture.

02 Jaipur, rajasthan

LOCAtion map

9 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan


Img.2.1: India map showing Rajasthan

Img.2.2: Map of Rajasthan showing Kalbeliya settlements

10 | Jaipur, Rajasthan

Img.2.3: Jaipur map showing major research locations

Rajasthan Rajasthan, India’s largest state is the land of the Great Indian Desert, of hardy folk, of veritable treasure-trove of ancient lore, music, dance, ballads and myths. Also known as the Land of Kings, it is a colourful melange of massive forts, stunning palaces, diverse culture, delectable cuisines and warm people, set amidst a rugged yet inviting landscape. It has always been acknowledged for its tradition and rich cultural heritage.

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The contour of Rajasthan is varied and well divided by the Aravalli Range, spreading from the southwest to the northeast and an unproductive desert region in the northwest to a comparatively fertile land in the east. It is home to the Great Indian Thar Desert and the Chambal River which is solely responsible for the water supply in the region.

Img.2.4: A view of the Jal Mahal

Most of Rajasthan’s population consists of Indians of various social, occupational, and religious backgrounds. The most notable section of the population are the Rajputs. Aboriginal people constitute more than one-tenth of the population of Rajasthan, which includes the Mina, most of whom are farmers, the Banjara, known as traveling traders and artisans, the Gadia Lohar, who traditionally have made and repaired agricultural and household implements, the Bhil, possessing great skill in archery, the Garasia and Kathodi, the Sahariya, the Kalbeliya, snake charmers and the Rabari, who are traditionally cattle breeders.

Img.2.5: Rajasthan’s traditional attire

Art and craft of Rajasthan is an integral part of the state. Each district and city specializes in different art forms. Rajasthan is well known all over the world for its hand-printed textiles, which include, Bandhani, Leheriya, Batik, etc. and Furnitures, Leatherwork, Jewellery- Meenakari, Beaded and Lac Jewellery, Miniature paintings, Blue pottery, Puppetry, Durries, Gesso work and metal craft. The use of lively colours and flamboyant, fantasy designs are distinctive in all forms of arts and crafts of Rajasthan.

Img.2.6: The craft of Puppetry

12 | Jaipur, Rajasthan

The inhabitants of Rajasthan prefer to wear dazzling, bright and lovely coloured costumes to add tint of colour and life to the otherwise dull landscape. The conventional costumes are ‘dhoti’, ‘potia’, ‘angrakha’, ‘banda’, ‘bugatari’, ‘khol’, ‘pachewara’, ‘dhabla’ for men, with a head wear or turban. The most common costume for women are Sari and ‘odhani’, ‘Kanchli’ or ‘choli’, ‘ghaghra’ or ‘lehanga’. The entire state of Rajasthan is ruled by bandhni (tie-and-dye) sari and turban and also a luxurious usage of silver and gold ‘gota’ and ‘zari’. There is a common usage of sandals or ‘jutees’.

jaipur Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is the capital city of Rajasthan and is the first planned city of the country. It combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Jaipur rises majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Moti Doongri. Jaipur city is famous for its architecture and rich culture - enough to attract the tourists from different parts of the globe.

How to reach Jaipur is easily accessible from all parts of India and the globe via a network of air, rail and roadways.

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Jaipur International Airport is called Sanganer Airport. There are domestic flight connections to and from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Udaipur and several other places. There are also international flights from Jaipur to Dubai, Muscat, Singapore and Bangkok as well. A convenient way to travel to Jaipur by road. Regular service of AC and Deluxe buses is available from all major cities in Rajasthan. Jaipur is connected via rail from all major cities including Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, etc

Img.2.7: Aerial view of Jaipur from Nahargarh Fort

History The city of Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II on November 18, 1727 and was also named after him. He was a Kachwaha Rajput who ruled Jaipur from 1699-1743. The city was designed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar in Mathematics and Science from Bengal. Principles of Vastu Shastra were greatly followed while designing the city. The construction of the city started in 1727 and it took around 4 years for the completion of the major palaces and roads. In 1878, the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur city. The whole city was painted with Pink colour to welcome the Prince. Since then, the name “Pink City” came into existence

Geography Jaipur is located at an altitude of 1417 feet from sea level, surrounded by Aravalli Hills on three sides which safeguards it from the rough desert. Multiple rivers are found passing through Jaipur city including Dhund, Bandi, Banganga, Moral, Sabi, Sakha, Dai and Masi.

Jaipur district receives around 650 mm rainfall annually and hence, the climate here is typically humid. Monsoon occurs from June till September. Heavy rains and thunderstorms are observed in the monsoon season. In the months of April, May, June and July, the average daily temperature of the district is around 30°C. It becomes lower in the months from November till February wherein the observed daily temperature ranges between 15°C to 18°C.

16 | Jaipur, Rajasthan


Flora and Fauna

Culture in and around Jaipur

The vegetation of Jaipur has been classified as “scrub jungle�. Trees are commonly lacking, shrubs are the dominant perennials, e.g. Crotalaria burhia, Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Saricostoma pauciflorum and Zizyphus nummularia. Jaipur also has the World Forestry Arboretum, which is home to various medicinal and rare plants.

People: Jaipur, being considered as one of the major tourist spots in India, are visited by a large number of Indians as well as foreigners. The people of Jaipur have always welcomed them with regal courtesy and genuine affection and are well-known for their hospitality. Despite having a rugged appearance and strong voice, the people of Jaipur are simple, cheerful and courteous.

Jaipur is house to a number of monkeys and the easiest to spot are the Rhesus Macaque and the gray langurs. There is an Elephant Rehabilitation Center named Elefantastic on the outskirts of Jaipur, focusing on healthcare and breeding management for elephants.

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Peacock can be easily spotted in & around Jaipur too. Barkhera, located about 30 Km south of Jaipur has a small water body, a marshland which attracts many migratory birds like Heron, Bar Headed Goose, Flamingos and Rosy Pelican as well as Dalmatian Pelicans.

Img.2.8: Migratory birds at Barkhera

The natives of Jaipur fiercely guard their traditions and culture, which is reflected in their day-to-day life. They wear brightly coloured clothes and jewellery which complements their cheerful nature. They primarily speak Hindi but have their unique accent. The people of Jaipur are locally called Jaipuris and their culture epitomizes the very essence that the state of Rajasthan stands for: Royalty, chivalry, legacy, history, festivals and colors.

Img.2.9: Women from Rajasthan

• Manihars: the artisans of lac bangles • Kalbeliyas: formerly the snake charmers, now famous for their folk dancing.

Arts & Handicrafts: Jaipur is famous for its arts and crafts and therefore can rightly be called a shopper’s paradise. The Mughal and Rajput rulers used to invite skilled artists and craftsmen from India and abroad to display and share their abilities with the people of Jaipur. The major crafts that can be spotted in Jaipur are:

• Thathera: involved in the production of household utensils made from metals like copper and brass.

• Bandhani or tie and dye textile, Block printing,

• Neelgars: The community that practices tie and dye

• Taarkashi,

• Pannigaars: the artisans, who practice the technique of Varakh- very fine silver or gold foils used to decorate sweets, fruits, paan

• Stone Carving and sculpture, • Zari, Gotta Kinari, Zardozi, • Silver jewellery, Lac jewellery, kundan, minakari,

• Chhipa community: the artisans practicing block printing in Sanganer.

• Blue pottery,

Img.2.10: Block printing by the Chhipa community

Img.2.11: The technique of Tie-and-Dye

• Puppet making, etc

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Communities residing in Jaipur: A large number of communities practicing different crafts reside in different areas of the city:

Fairs & Festivals: The splendid and vibrant culture of Rajasthan is exhibited by its fairs and festivals. A large number of tourists throng to Jaipur to enjoy these colorful occasions. Kite Festival (January): Celebrated during Makar Sakranti, when people of all age groups celebrate by flying kites. Gangaur, Jaipur (March-April): Involves young girls praying for their choice of grooms and married women for the welfare of their spouses. Elephant Festival (March- April): All about decorating elephants, dressed in brilliant and weaved velvet floor coverings with intricate motifs painted on their bodies.

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Teej, Jaipur (July-August): Mainly for women, and includes dancing, singing, getting together with friends.

Img.2.12: Women during Gangaur festival

Img.2.13: Kite festival at Jaipur

Dances of Jaipur: Folk dances trace their origin to rural customs and traditions. These dances form an integral part of the people’s lives and are performed on important occasions and festivals. Some of Jaipur’s traditional folk dances include: • Chari - performed by women from Gujjar community, involves dancing with ignited brass pots on their heads • Ghoomar - traditionally performed by the Bhil women • Kalbeliya - performed by women from Kalbeliya community • Kathputli - performed by the Bhat community, involves dancing of the puppets • Terah Taali - performed by the women of Kamad tribe, involves striking of thirteen manjeeras, tied to various parts of their bodies, with the ones in their hands

Img.2.14: Women performing Chari dance

Architecture: The architecture of Jaipur is an outstanding arrangement of colonial, Islamic and Hindu architecture. Bursting with ornate palaces and imposing forts, the city of Jaipur has been a commercial and cultural hub in northern India for centuries.

Img.2.15: A view of the Hawa Mahal

Img.2.16 (Top): View of the courtyard of Albert Hall Museum Img.2.17 (Bottom): A view of the Amber Fort

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Jain and Muslim architecture has greatly influenced the palaces and forts, whereas the later carries the touch of European interiors, ornamented Havelis, elaborately carved temples and also magnificent forts are sections of Jaipur’s traditional heritage.

Kalbeliya Villages, Squatter Kalbeliya families mostly live in groups in squatter settlements and camps, with most of them having permanent houses in their villages. They mostly live in vacant spaces on the outskirts of cities, like, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar etc. They can also be found in areas near Marwar, Mewar, Chittorgarh and Pali district. According to a list from the ethnographic document: The Kalbeliyas of Rajasthan: Jogi Nath Snake charmers, by author Miriam Robertson. The Kalbeliya families can be found in:

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Villages (permanent home-bases) • • • • • • • • • • •

Harjipura (near Jaipur) Ramalpura (near Jaipur) Kanoda (near Jaipur- two settlements) Manoli (near Jaipur) Jhakari (near Jaipur) Chandiwar (near Agra) Shivapuri (Marwar) Tisra village (Marwar) Devghar (Marwar) Bagwar (Mewar, near Chittorgarh; 1984) Bijainagar (Mewar. In 1984 there was a large group of Kalbeliyas. Revisited in 1987, only one family remained).

Settlements and Camps Kachchi basti (squatter settlements) • • • • • •

Bhojpura Colony kachchi basti (Jaipur) Kalakar Colony (Jaipur) Railway kachchi basti (Jaipur on Railway property) Sabzi kachchi basti (Jaipur) Gulab Marg kachchi basti (Jaipur) Krishnapura Marg kachchi basti (outskirts of Jaipur. Tents: some families were being allocated government house plots).

Camps (tents) Railway crossing (outskirts of Jaipur) Acharawala village in Sanganer (outskirts of Jaipur) Galta (near Jaipur camp at shrine) Kejigar camp (near Kejigar village outside Jaipur) Chandiwar camp (near Chandiwar village near Ajmer. Working on road works) • Pushkar (near Ajmer. Camel fair. Some Kalbeliya entertainers working in Tourist village). • Ajmer (Tents in streets of town). • Bijainagar (Mewar camp in town because of Nagpanchami).

Img.2.18: Entrance to the Kalakar Colony

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• • • • •

acharawala village Acharawala village is located in Sanganer Tehsil of Jaipur district in Rajasthan, India. It is situated 10 km. away from subdistrict headquarter, Sanganer and 24 km. away from district headquarter, Jaipur. The total geographical area of village is 213.35 hectares. Jaipur is nearest town to Acharawala which is approximately 24 km. away.

Agriculture The count of employed people of Acharawala village is 349, however, 386 are unemployed. And out of 349 working people 243 individuals are entirely dependent on farming.

Accessibility Acharawala Village can be easily accessed from any part of the world by flight. Jaipur International Airport , also known as Sanganer Airport is just 13.6 km. away from the village.

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Sanganer Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Acharawala. However, Jaipur Railway Station is also just 20 km. away from Acharawala. Public and private bus service is available within the village and from Jaipur. It can also be accessed via auto-rickshaws and cabs from the Jaipur city.

Demographics According to Census 2011, Acharawala’s population is 735. Out of which 360 are male, whereas the females count is 375. There are about 75 houses in Acharawala village. Literacy rate in Acharawala village is 60%. 447 out of total 735 population is educated here. In males the literacy ratio is 74% while female literacy ratio is 48% in this village. Img.2.19: (Top) Map showing Acharawala Village Img.2.20: (Right) Kalbeliya settlement at Acharawala Village

24 | Jaipur, Rajasthan

03 field research

the process The journey: In the month of December, one of my batchmates, Homa and I left for our field research in Jaipur. The trip was planned for 7 days. The agenda was to meet Kalbeliya dancers, their community and get to know their lifestyle, culture, environment, beliefs, customs, etc. up close and gather first-hand information. Day-1: As we left for our field research, our hearts filled with joy and excitement. With some prior planning and appointments scheduled, we reached Jaipur Station in the morning. We had spoken to a member of Alankar musical group, Mr. Sandeep who connected us to Mr. Puran Nath Sapera, a Kalbeliya musician. After speaking to him over phone and taking directions to his house, we booked an auto and reached the destination. Location-1: Bhojpura Kacchi Basti

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Locality: The neighbourhood is a slum area with narrow lanes connecting to the main road, however their house is a threestoried permanent building and is directly next to the train tracks. Accessibility: The area is accessible by local buses, autos and cabs. This was a large house at the end of the alley where a Kalbeliya family resided. The head of the family, Mr. Puran Nath Sapera and other male members of the family play musical instruments, while his wife and other female members dance. His wife Mrs. Rajki Devi is a very famous Kalbeliya dance and knows other folk dances as well such as Ghoomar, Chairi, etc. After having an in-depth conversation with them and gathering all the information required we left

Img.3.1: Puran Nath ji, Rajki Devi and their family at their house in Bhojpura Colony

from there for our hotel. We also got to know that there are a group of Kalbeliya families residing in camps in the outskirts of Jaipur. We, then, headed towards the local market, where we explored various clothing, handicrafts and cuisines of Jaipur.

Day -2: We had taken a prior appointment to meet Mrs. Toolika Gupta, Director of Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur in order to get more information about the different communities residing in and around Jaipur and we got some valuable insights from her. We also went through a few books from their library where we found some books on history, art and crafts of Rajasthan and Jaipur.

Img.3.2 (Top): Bapu Bazaar in Jaipur Img.3.3 (Bottom): A view of the courtyard at IICD

26 | Field Research

Later that day, we visited Jawahar Kala Kendra to get information regarding any events being held, where we could witness the dance performance. However, we were informed that there was no performance for Kalbeliya being scheduled that week. We also visited their library and gathered some information from there as well.

Day-3: We visited the Albert Hall Museum and the City Palace. There we got a glimpse of the old traditional costumes belonging to the Royal families, the tribes, like the Banjaras, their accessories, their art and crafts, their lifestyle, etc. Later that evening, as planned earlier, we visited Puran Nath ji’s residence. He showed us their photo albums and videos that were stored in their Ipad. He also suggested us to meet Mr. Vinod Joshi, member of the Virasat Foundation, who had done a dissertation on the Kalbeliyas. He also agreed on taking us to the ‘dera’ on the outskirts of Jaipur the next morning. Day-4: We left in the morning to visit the Kalbeliya ‘dera’. I was accompanied by one of Puran Nath ji’s sons. We had prebooked an auto as the place was quite far from the centre of the city.

27 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Location-2: Acharawala village in Sanganer on the outskirts of Jaipur Locality: The area was a barren stretch of land on either side of the Diggi Malpura Road, near to the Bisalpur- Jaipur Water Project Plan, where around 12-14 Kalbeliya families resided in groups having their individual tents, but common toilet spaces. Accessibility: Public and private bus service is also available with the village and from Jaipur. It can also be accessed via auto-rickshaws and cabs.

Img.3.4 (Top left): Jawahar Kala Kendra Img.3.5 (Top right): Interior of the Albert Hall Museum Img.3.6 (Bottom): Jaipur City Palace

28 | Field Research

Img.3.7: Kalbeliya women at their camp in Acharawala village

I decided to spend the day with them, observing how they carry out their day-to-day activities, the space and surrounding they live in, their culture, beliefs and customs, an individual’s responsibility in the family, their everyday clothing, their mode of income, eating and sleeping habits, etc.

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Day-5: We took an appointment to meet Mr. Vinod Joshi, the Community Director at Jaipur Virasat Foundation, who had done a dissertation on the Kalbeliya tribe. On meeting him, I got valuable insights about their history, origin, their evolution with time and a few of their customs that have vanished over time. I requested him to show us his research paper, for which we had to meet again the next day. Though I had gathered quite a lot of information regarding the Kalbeliyas, their dance and costumes. However, something still felt missing. It is then I decided to approach Mrs. Gulabo Sapera, who laid the foundation for this dance form. After searching for a while, I managed to get her contact details from her dance academy advertisement. I spoke to her over the phone and convince her to meet us the next afternoon. Day-6: As decided, we left the hotel the next afternoon, booked an auto and reached at the address, provided by her. Location-3: Baba Ramdeo Colony, Shashtri Nagar

Img.3.8 (Top): Jaipur Virasat Foundation logo Img.3.9 (Bottom): Kalbeliya dance performance at a fair in Gandhinagar

Locality: It was a colony, with narrow yet clean lanes. Their house is a two-storied residential building, where the whole family lives together. The living room also functions as a space where dance classes are conducted by Mrs. Gulabo Sapera. Accessibility: The area is easily accessible by local buses, autorickshaws and cabs. We were welcomed warm-heartedly into her residence. She gave me detailed information about their lifestyle, their past, how things have changed after the Indian Wildlife Act, their culture, beliefs, rituals, etc. She also spoke about her journey so far from being the first Kalbeliya dancer on stage to winning Padmashree Award. She also told us how the present costume of the dance was designed. After meeting her I felt contented with information I got. Day-7: We met Mr Vinod Joshi to have a look at his research work. His Assistant showed us some very old photographs and documentaries on them. Later that evening we left Jaipur for our home.

Img.3.10: Meeting Gulabo Sapera at her residence

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Though I had gathered almost all the information I needed, we could not manage to attend any performance. Hence, we were asked to come back again during Holi. However, there was a fair held in Gandhinagar, where I got the opportunity to be a spectator of the amazing performance, with which my field research came to an end.

04 kalbeliya: the tribe

introduction The Kalbeliyas belong to Rajasthan, North India and are majorly settled in the regions of Barmer, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Their tradition occupation is snake charming and until about fifty years ago, they were nomadic. In the current scenario, they have adapted themselves to semi-sedentarism from nomadism and are mainly settled in the suburban areas. They live in groups of 15-20 families in ‘deras’- tent like structures with bamboo supports and covered with old clothing and plastic sheets in vacant lands. In the past twenty- five years, the Kalbeliyas, who were formerly itinerant caste- community have increasingly found work as musicians and dancers in the tourism industry in cities, like, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Pushkar.

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Kalbeliya is a name used only in Rajasthan and refers only to this specific sub-caste of Jogis. They traditionally have been snake-charmers and traders of snake venom. Their ancestors enthralled the members of royalty by performing an array of tricks with the serpents, an exercise which later transformed into public shows at local fairs and bazaars. For a long time, Kalbeliyas lived and travelled around the woods, practicing and performing dances, playing the ‘been’ (gourd pipe) and charming the snakes. They had steady work dancing, playing the ‘been’, snake-charming, begging and healing and all were uneducated and happy.

But ever since the enactment of the Wildlife Act of 1972, the Kalbeliya tribe have been forced to stop their traditional profession of snake charming. As a result, performance art has become a major source of income for the once nomadic tribe. This is when they started considering dancing and singing as their major source of income. The women of the family would dance and the male members would play different instruments and sing. This dance form came to be known as Kalbeliya or the Sapera dance. The dance form have evolved over time and is intricately linked to their lifestyle and history in terms of the sinuous, reptilian moves that characterize it, the musical instrument involved and the hypnotic emotion of the performance.

Img.4.1: Kalbeliyas at their camp in Acharawala village

32 | Kalbeliya: The Tribe

Despite giving the impression that it is an age-old tradition, Kalbeliya dancing, also known as Indian Gypsy dancing, is a recent creation from the 1980’s. This dance form has swept the market as one of the most popular Indian folk dances, with the result that it has already been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage (2010).

Origin: The Kalbeliya caste, today concentrated in the Rajasthan districts of Pali, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Chittaurgarh and Udaipur, consists of twelve exogamous clans (gotra) and is traditionally identified with the art of snake charming. Kalbeliyas consider themselves to be descendants of Kanipav, one of the nine Natha, the semi-divine masters of the practice of hatha-yoga.

33 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

The art of snake charming, the main social characteristic of the caste, is connected with the descent from Kanipav. There are two versions of history which seek to explain how Kanipav came to practice the art. One version has it that Kanipav was cursed by Gorakh Nath to carry poisonous snakes around with him and to use them for begging whilst the other has it that Kanipav was blessed by the god Siva, who, pleased by the former’s strong faith and devotion, allowed him and his disciples to embrace the profession of snake charming. Puran Nath ji, the founder of “Rajki-Puran Nath Sapera and Party” performance group and a well- known Sapera in Jaipur, in representing his community, summarized the famous narrative of their guru Kanipavji’s expulsion from the community of Yogis and curse by Gorakhnathji, such that Kanipavji, his disciples, and their descendants would remain forever itinerant, without homes in villages, and without crops or fields. Gorakh Nathji threw a feast for all of his friends and for all of the Naths, to which Kanipavji was invited. He placed begging bowls covered with cloth in front of each attendee and asked everyone to imagine in their hearts what they wanted to eat; through magic, Gorakhnathji would make that imagined food appear in the dish. Kanipavji Img.4.2: A Kalbeliya man snake charming at a market

wished for snakes and poisonous lizards. When the snakes and lizards appeared, Kanipavji was banished from the party. He then had to live in the forest and there he and his disciples, who eventually became the original members of the Kalbeliya caste, kept all kinds of animals, including snakes, deer, dogs, and rabbits, and ate many kinds of animals from the forest.

Tracing the history of the Kalbeliyas, their relation and connection to the Romani:

The history of the Romani remained unknown for centuries, due to the lack of any written records and strangely enough their lack of knowledge about their existence. They initially claimed to be Egyptians- hence the name ‘Gypsies’. Europeans eventually discovered that the Romani language was derived from Sanskrit and contains words that were similar to hindi and from there, their history was gradually put together.

Img.4.3 (Top): Vintage picture of gypsy women in Poland Img.4.4 (Bottom): Map showing the migration of Romani people

34 | Kalbeliya: The Tribe

The Kalbeliyas are one of the Indian tribes from which the Romani are said to have originated. The Romani, also known as the gypsies, approximately 12 million in number, trace their origin to the Indian subcontinent, which they are said to have started leaving after the fifth century, however the question of why and how are obscure. Polish poet and gypsy scholar Jan Kochanowski believed the largest exodus of this now global tribe was in the 12th and 13th centuries, after the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan by Muhammad Ghauri, when they feared enslavement or forced conversion to Islam.

Today, the Romani have spread to different corners of the World as: the Banjaras and Kalbeliya tribes of Rajasthan; the Roma of Iran, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia and Macedonia, the Gitan of the south of France and the Gitanos of the south of Spain, where the trail ends. While they may have scattered far and wide, they have retained a unique culture across the centuries. The Rajasthani gypsy tribe actually differs very little from the Romani, as these nomadic people have hardly changed over centuries. The Romani, currently residing in India: Kalbeliyas are represented as dancers and snake charmers, Manganiyars and Langas as low-caste musicians, Bhopas as storytellers, Lohars as blacksmiths, Bhats as puppeteers and Banjaras as wandering merchants.

35 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Traditionally, the Romanis have a patriarchal society- they marry young and maintain a close-knit network of extended family. Music and dance feature predominantly in daily life, and gypsy gatherings are known to be boisterous occasions of revelry. Romanipen, the set of values gypsies must follow to be true Romani, is the essence of gypsy culture. Though they do not have any formal folk costumes, but all the tribes have retained some of the dress habits, including full length skirts, love for bright colors, and their love for jewellery, especially hoop earrings and bangles.

Img.4.5 (Top): Kalderash women in England Img.4.6 (Bottom): Gypsies in Catholic countries-pilgrims

Mapping their journey: The Kalbeliyas, who were previously associated to snake charming, have now turned to dance and music as their primary livelihood. Their traditional means of living describe a form of economic adaptation that has been defined as service nomadism, which in India refers to endogamous groups that offer highly specialized services to settled populations, such as entertainment, ritual religious specialties, folk medicines and repairs of specific types of implements and is known as Jajmani system. Their migration is due to the limited demand for their services in any one location.

Apart from snake charming and begging, the Kalbeliyas have always had several economic strategies, some of cyclical nature, as e.g. agriculture, construction labour, but they have never been and cannot be considered to be a caste of hereditary professional folk musicians and dancers. They did not enjoy the patronage neither of royal courts nor of common people as dancers and musicians. Their past spatial mobility was meant to exploit both natural resources, through the capture of poisonous snakes, and social ones, in the form of people needing their services and expertise as snake charmers. Img.4.7: A Roma girl from Europe dancing

36 | Kalbeliya: The Tribe

Snake charming, in India, was considered as an activity loaded with spiritual and devotional meanings. The snake being a form of Lord Shiva has been embodied as God, and the Kalbeliya as the priest of snake, which, in turn also helped them attract donations. The Kalbeliyas are also summoned both to remove snakes from public or private buildings and to administer an antidote to the poisonous snake bite.

At present, snake charming as a mean of living, has proven to be highly outdated and they economically mainly rely on dance and on the artistic activities related to singing and music. The new emerging working profile of the caste and the commercial and artistic status of Kalbeliya dance depend on three main causes: • the promulgation of the Indian Wildlife Act in 1972, • the Rajasthani tourist market growth and

37 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

• the biographical experience of Gulabo Sapera, the creator of the Kalbeliya dance. Kalbeliyas’ service nomadism, already weakened by the general decline of Jajmani system in modern Rajasthan, was further affected in 1972 by the issuing of the Wildlife Protection Act. This Act, regardless of the customary rights of hunting and gathering of nomadic communities, in order to protect biodiversity, maintains that “wild animals are government property” and “no person shall without the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wildlife Warden acquire or keep in his possession, custody or control or transfer to any person by way of gift, sale or otherwise or destroy or damage such government property”. Since all the species of snakes used by the snake charmers are considered to be “wild animals” and “government property” and because of the provisions of the Act, the profession of snake charming became illegal. This explains the actual difficulty for Kalbeliyas to carry on their traditional profession. Similar to other castes of service nomads, the Kalbeliyas have been forced to abandon their traditional subsistence strategies, less and less profitable, and adopt new means of surviving. Img.4.8 (Top): Kalbeliya man playing the been and snake charming Img.4.9 (Bottom): Kalbeliya man playing the been and woman singing

The most blatant cause of this transition from a caste of snake charmers to one of dancers and musicians has been first inspired by the biographical experience of Gulabo Sapera and has secondly found its consecration in the tourist market. After the “discovery” of Gulabo Sapera, the first Kalbeliya dancer to have performed this genre onstage in the United States (1986), numerous projects seeking to unite Gypsy artists from all over the world began to adapt Kalbeliya dancing into their initiatives. The “Gypsyfying” process aims to assimilate the Gypsies as a trans-national community with common roots in India. The Gypsy furore, at its peak in the late 1990’s, led to an increase in the number of Kalbeliya dancers performing on international stages from one to approximately fifty.

Despite the sudden achievement of international fame, Kalbeliya dancing did not initially find a place within the Indian cultural art scene. After India’s Independence many traditional cultural forms were registered and classified into one of three categories: classical, folk and tribal. These three categories became the official mark of India as a culturally rich and diverse nation. Kalbeliya dancing, however, could not be approved as a traditional dance form based on Img.4.10: Gulabo Sapera performing Kalbeliya on stage

38 | Kalbeliya: The Tribe

Interestingly, the marketing as Rajasthani Gypsies is only part of the story. Fieldwork amongst Kalbeliyas revealed that the Rajasthani groups use the Gypsy concept for selfreference only in non-Indian circumstances, for instance, on international stages, or when they come into close contact with tourists in India. Thus, ‘Gypsy’ has become a type of contact term. In India, the term ‘Rajasthani folk’ is used instead, a standard categorization for ‘indigenous’ art forms.

39 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

ancient customs, which is one of the basic principles for being accepted in this tripartite structure. Performing arts without historical authentication or traditional values are generally added to the dustbin category of entertainment, which is considered to be an inferior designation. At the outset, Kalbeliya dancers found themselves at the bottom of the “cultural hierarchy,” often despised by other Rajasthani communities as being artificial or as only being entertainers, or even regarded as some type of prostitutes. However, the intermingling of business, academic research and heritage policy in Rajasthan, mainly driven by tourism, led folklorists to include Kalbeliya dancing in their programs. Kalbeliya dancing was transformed into “the dance of the snake charmers” from the 2000’s onward. Kalbeliya women substitute for the snakes when accompanying male Kalbeliya musicians, since the capture of snakes was prohibited in 1972. Although it can be proven that this change in practice is rather contrived, the new epithet and the artificial link with snake charmer practice gave Kalbeliya dancers the authority to use the label of folk dance because it could now be linked to “ancient, ritual” practices, the main criterion for recognizing and legitimizing invented traditions. Once it was granted the title of folk dance, and the aura associated with this designation, Kalbeliya dancing got further commercialized in India. Ultimately, in 2010, “Kalbeliya folk songs and dance of Rajasthan” were recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

Today, this dance form has become highly commercialised and the dancers and musicians are booked in India and abroad by private individuals, events’ organizers, cultural institutions and hotel managers in order to perform for local as well as foreign people. Besides, a growing number of female foreign tourists visit Rajasthan in order to take dance classes from girls belonging to the caste. However, in the past of the caste, dance was in fact performed only during the celebration of some Hindu festivals, like Holi and it was bound to an inter-communitarian and inter-caste fruition.

Img.4.11: A Kalbeliya performance in Jaisalmer

40 | Kalbeliya: The Tribe

05 Community and Culture

Community Birth

41 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Nowadays the Kalbeliyas welcome with great happiness and relief the birth of female children while in the past, and still by the Kalbeliya communities less involved in the dance business, the birth of a female child was generally perceived as disgrace. The Kalbeliya families are patriarchal in nature and the birth of a boy child was preferred over girl child. Since they were nomadic people, they could not keep many girls, normally one per family, as they were poor and could not afford the expenses for raising a girl child. Also, earlier, the men used to work as snake charmers and were the only earning member of the family and they were considered to be the ones who would carry forward the lineage. There have been instances when a girl child has been killed after birth as they did not have enough money to raise the child. However, this scenario has changed to a great extent after the Kalbeliyas shifted to dancing as their family occupation, i.e., when the females started dancing. A female child is now envisaged as a future dancer with a profession which will let her earn money and help her parents. As stated by Gulabo Sapera“I was the fourth girl child and was considered as the fourth burden of the family. The community members decided to bury me alive in absence of my father and unconscious state of my mother. I was later saved by my aunt, who dug me out an hour later to find me breathing.�

Img.5.1 (Top): A Kalbeliya woman with her new born Img.5.2 (Bottom): A Kalbeliya woman with her children

and Culture: Marriage The usual form of marriage Kalbeliyas follow is the ‘Asura’ form of marriage, which according to ‘The Code of Manu’, a collection of laws based on customs, precedent and teachings of the Vedas, means that the bridegroom receives a maiden after having given as much wealth as he can afford to the bride and her family, according to his own will. However, they aspire to the ‘Pragapatya’ form of marriage that means gift of a girl without material transfer between the two families.

Once the families agree to the marriage, ‘kachchi sagai’ takes place between the two, following which the brideservice is carried on. During this period, the boy lives with the girl’s family for at least a year and tries to prove the girl’s family that he is a good worker and has a satisfactory character and that their daughter will be able to live with him happily after marriage. This precedes the official engagement when both families finally agree that the couple should get married. However, this trial marriage arrangement, i.e. the brideservice is no longer practiced.

Img.5.3 (Top): Community gathering at a Kalbeliya wedding Img.5.4 (Bottom): Kalbeliya women in their best clothes to attend the wedding

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The Kalbeliyas are highly orthodox when it comes to marriage. A girl has to get married by the age eighteen to twenty years. Education is considered as a threat in the girl’s marriage. The girl is never informed that her projected marriage is under discussion or who the boy might be and she doesn’t have the right to disagree with her family in any case.

Wedding attire The bride wears red coloured outfit of ‘ghaghra’ (long skirt), ‘choli’ (short blouse) and ‘odhani’ (short veil), covered with a second ‘odhani’ wound round with gold cords (Sehra). She is so completely covered from head to toe that nothing can be seen of her face or body.


43 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

When it is realised that someone is going to die, he or she is taken out of the house as there is a lingering feeling that if a person dies inside the house then it becomes impure. The dying person is laid on a mattress or cot, and all ornaments or precious things are taken from their body. If required, a tent is erected to provide shelter, and family members, neighbours and the doctor too, stay with the dying person. After death, a relative strips and washes the body of the deceased and wraps it in a ‘kafan’ (shroud), bought from the market. The body is wrapped in a white cloth if the deceased is a man, a boy or an unmarried girl. In the case of a man, underpants are also made. A married woman is wrapped in a yellow cloth, a widow is wrapped in a red cloth. The body of the deceased is buried in the public burial ground, although cremation is the more common method of disposing of the dead among other Hindu castes. The burial area is then covered with rocks or stones for identification of the spot in future.

Img.5.5 (Top): The bride and groom at a Kalbeliya wedding Img.5.6 (Bottom): Kalbeliya men at a public burial ground

Kinship System The Kalbeliyas in the Delhivale area say they originate from two main gotras- Chauhan and Dehran. Dehran is said to have twenty-two sub-gotras who must not intermarry. Chauhan is said to have either twenty-one or twenty-three sub-gotras who must not intermarry, but Dehra’s sub-gotras can marry into Chauhan’s sub-gotras and vice versa. Other Kalbeliya regions also have many gotras from which they count their descent.

Occupations The Kalbeliyas’ occupation, though traditionally was snake charming, but after the introduction of the Indian Wildlife Act in 1972, they have adopted Kalbeliya and other folk dances and music as their main occupation. Apart from this, they are also curers of snake bite, sellers of herbal medicines, agriculturalists, beggars, cattle farmers, truck drivers, factory workers, labourers, rickshawalas or magicians.

The Kalbeliyas have their own ‘sanpera’ language. This is more in the nature of an argot than a fully-fledged separate language. School children in Rajasthan are taught to read and write Hindi, one of the official languages of India. But at home, people of all castes usually speak a regional or even village dialect. The Kalbeliyas are no exception to this, but in addition they have their sanpera language. It Is not used between them very much, but to ensure secrecy before outsiders. Img.5.7 (Top left): A Kalbeliya ascetic beggar Img.5.8 (Top right): A Kalbeliya woman doing household work Img.5.9 (Bottom): Kalbeliya men practicing snake charming

44 | Community and Culture



45 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

The Kalbeliyas are fun-loving people and celebrate mostly all the festivals celebrated in Rajasthan. However, for them, there are four festivals that are of utmost importance:

Img.5.10 (Top): Kalbeliyas during Holi celebration Img.5.11 (Bottom): A Kalbeliya man worshipping during Nag Panchami

Shivratri- On the day of Shivratri, Kalbeliyas go out in

Holi- During Holi, the professional Kalbeliya dancers and musicians are invited to perform at different events or fairs, that are organised throughout the state and even in other parts of the country. However for the rest of the community, celebrations are also organised amongst the community, where the women of the family would perform their traditional dance but only in front of the community members. Also the Kalbeliya men would go out on the street and call on shopkeeper and onlookers for alms. Sometimes they would also be accompanied by the women singing the special Holi song.

Makar Sankranti- On this day, they make a sweet dish,

groups wearing ochre clothes of holy men in order to beg as ‘sadhus’. This is the tradition in the Nath caste as a whole and donations are made to them in order to earn religious merit even if they are suspected to be imposters.

which is eaten amongst the family, but no family worship takes place. Donations are made of growing things, like, til seeds, wheat, flour and fruits, for the purpose of ridding themselves of impurity and attracting wealth.

Nag Panchami- On Nag Panchami, the Kalbeliyas receive donations from other people. On this day, no grinding or preparation of food is done in their homes and fast is kept. No ploughing, digging or anything that might cause injury to snakes takes place. Offerings of milk are placed near snake holes and an image of cobra is worshipped. They believe that offering to cobra ensures fertility and increases the possibility of male offspring.

Crafts The Kalbeliyas, apart from being entertainers, have also engaged themselves in a few crafts, such as: •

Beaded jewellery: The Kalbeliya women can be seen

Gudris: The Kalbeliya women make colorful quilts, known as ‘gudris’ from pieces of carefully washed rag, stretched out on the ground or cot and sewn together with stitches through several layers of cloth and stuffed with old rags. These quilts are then decorated with hand embroidery in geometric patterns. They are stored in huge piles inside their huts, to be utilized during the winter because the Kalbeliyas mostly sleep outside their tents, even on cold winter nights. Img.5.12 (Top): Beaded jewellery made by Kalbeliya women Img.5.13 (Bottom): Gudris made by Kalbeliya women

46 | Community and Culture

wearing popping bright coloured beaded jewelleries that form an integral part of their attire and are being made by these women themselves. They commonly wear panels of string beads in rectangular or other shapes on their clothes, as waist belt, necklaces and head gear. These are painstakingly made by using small glass beads, using bead stringing or bead braiding techniques.

Dwelling and Habitat – Personal Space/ common space The Kalbeliya community can be divided into two categories: • the progressive ones, who have modernised themselves to some extent, have settled in the city and started to work as entertainers for a living, and

47 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

• the orthodox type, who are still under the belief that the women of the family should not be allowed to dance in front of strangers for money as it is against their dignity In Jaipur, the Kalbeliya dancers and their families live in mainly two areas- the Kalakar Colony and the Bhojpura Kacchi Basti. Twenty to twenty-five years ago, groups of semi-itinerant performers were squatting on land near the Brass Factory in Bani Park, Jaipur. Many Kalbeliyas, lived in tents alongside members of other semi-itinerant caste-communities of performers. When this land was needed by the wealthy for other purposes, the government rounded up these semiitinerant, squatting performers, piled their belongings into trucks, and brought them to what is now known as Kalakar Colony. Each nuclear family was given an empty plot of land and a government document stating that this plot was to belong to this family until the government needed it back, at which time this family would be given another plot of land elsewhere. For many years, these communities lived in tents on their plots, stealing electricity needed for lights and fans. Presently, most families have built permanent structures, and the government has brought in water and electricity lines, and

has paved the alleys. With the rising popularity and success of their performance, the Kalbeliyas had earned enough money to build homes out of brick and concrete. Since then, some performers who greatly succeeded in the tourism industry have either built better homes, like Puran Nath ji, who is now the owner of a 3-storey building in Bhojpura Kacchi Basti, where he lives with his family or others who have moved elsewhere. However, the Kalbeliya people who have not engaged themselves in dance and music and are still leading a nomadic life, live in clusters in ‘deras’ (camps) on deserted lands on the outskirts of the city. There is a small group of Kalbeliyas camping near the main road close to a railway level crossing outside Jaipur.

The tents in these squatter settlements are mainly used as a storage space. A string cot, quilts, a tin trunk, a few sacks, cooking utensils, and drums to store water is all most Kalbeliyas have. Most of them sleep outside under the open sky. There are cots arranged outside the tents for people to take rest and sleep at night. Cooking is also done outside on earthen ‘chulha’ and drinking water is stored in earthen pots on a raised platform. Img.5.14: A view of the Kalbeliya camp in Acharawala village

48 | Community and Culture

Kalbeliya tents are usually make-shift structures of rags and quilts on a framework of long sticks bent over into the shape of a vault. The coverings of the tent are adjusted throughout the day so the interior remains shaded. The tent can easily be made larger or smaller by substituting longer or shorter sticks for the framework and by adding or taking away coverings. In the rare event of rain, the Kalbeliyas tie a canvas cover or plastic sheet over the quilts that make up the tent covering.

The Kalbeliya men and women do not have access to proper toilets – they defecate in the open. There is only a small area, demarcated with four poles and surrounded partially with polythene sheets being used for bathing and washing.

49 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

A metal framed, netted structure, surrounded by rags and plastic sheets is made to keep the pets, like, hens, goats, etc. during the night time.  

Img.5.15: A view of the tents of Kalbeliyas at Acharawala village

Img.5.18 (Top): The tent covered with rags and old quilts Img.5.19 (Bottom): Area for clothes drying

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Img.5.16 (Top): The bathing area Img.5.17 (Bottom): The cage for pets

51 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Img.5.20: Cluster Activity Map at the Acharawala village

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53 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Img.5.21: Area allocation for different activities in a tent

Img.5.22 (Top): Cooking area Img.5.23 (Bottom): Interiors of the tent

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Img.5.24: An illustration showing the different activity areas in the cluster

Kalbeliya: The dance form

55 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Songs and dances are an expression of the Kalbeliya community’s traditional way of life. Once professional snake charmers, Kalbeliyas today have evoked their former occupation in music and dance that has evolved in new and creative ways over time. It is intricately linked to their lifestyle and history in terms of the sinuous, reptilian moves that characterize it, the musical instrument involved and the hypnotic emotion of the performance. The dance form consists of swirling and graceful movements that make this dance a treat to behold. Traditionally, women dance making a circle. In this circle all women, dance alternately usually in pairs with at least two pairs who swap stage-presence seamlessly. This lets the one half of the group catch their breath while at the same time not letting the pace of the dance to slow down. The dancing woman has a freedom of expression. There are no fixed patterns to follow, only improvisation. Moreover, the personal style of the dancer is very important and can be very diverse. The subtle hand and arm movements, continuous opening and closing of the arms and elbows, the rapid turning movements, the light hip movements and foot stamps following the rhythm are basic identification marks of the Kalbeliya dancing. The dance has evolved to more up-tempo movements with lots of turnings and spins, acrobatic steps and more facial expressions which showcase the dancers’ flexibility and litheness.

Img.5.25 (Top): A Kalbeliya woman swirling to beats Img.5.26 (Bottom): A group of women dancing on stage

The Kalbeliya dance is performed on stage by females while the men play the instruments. There are a number of traditional Indian instruments used during the performance such as the ‘Pakhwaja’, the ‘Dhap’, the ‘Dholak’, ‘Jhanjhar’, ‘Sarangi’ as well as the Harmonium. However, the most characteristic instrument played during a performance has to be the ‘Pungi’. The Pungi, or been, is a wooden wind instrument whose strains are synonymous with snake charming and provides the characteristic music for a dancer to strut her moves too. The beats of the Dhap or the Dafli, a flat-plate like percussion instrument struck with finger and palms, that accompany the Been.

Img.5.27: A Kalbeliya dancer showing off some acrobatic steps

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The songs demonstrate the poetic acumen of the Kalbeliya, who are reputed to compose lyrics spontaneously and improvise songs during performances. Transmitted from generation to generation, the songs and dances form part of an oral tradition for which no texts or training manuals exist.

06 clothing of kalbeliya women

clothing tradition Men The traditional clothing of the Kalbeliya men is quite simple and this continues to be their present costume while performing. However, the young Kalbeliya men have tried experimenting with their clothing during fairs and festivals, creating their own unique styles.

However, in the present scenario the Kalbeliya men have become more modernised in terms of clothing and were mostly seen wearing shirts or t-shirts and denims.

The Kalbeliya men have been working as musicians and snake charmers, which requires them to look distinctive to attract tourists. They, traditionally wear: • a white or pastel coloured shirt or ‘kurta’, paired with a white or dark coloured dhoti. • an optional sleeveless waist coat over the kurta

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• a colourful ‘bandhani’ or ‘leheriya’ turban, tied on their head to add colour to the outfit

Img.6.1: Kalbeliya men performing in their traditional attire

Img.6.2: Present day clothing of Kalbeliya men

and influences Women The traditional clothing of the Kalbeliya women is quite similar to the Romani clothing. Though the different tribes under Romani have different costumes, the key features are common in most of them and these have hardly changed over time. The traditional Romani women always dressed in two parts clearly showing the difference between the upper and the lower body parts. This separation is highlighted in the book ‘The Gypsy law’, where the author Weyrauch states that ‘according to Gypsy law, the human body is both pure and impure; the waist is the dividing line.’ This is related to the body that is split into two halves: the upper half is clean and can be shown without bringing shame or embarrassing anyone, while the lower is perceived as unclean and contaminated and thus cannot be revealed to anyone. This law or belief has been clearly reflected in their traditional clothing.

Similarly the Kalbeliya women’s traditional clothing also consists of three components: • a highly-flared, 20m. approximately, ankle length skirt called ‘ghaghra’ • a blouse, which in this case, extends beyond the waist to the hip or mid-thigh and is called ‘angrakhi’ • an ‘odhani’ which is larger in size than a ‘batic’ Img.6.3: Traditional Romani clothing

58 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

The traditional Romani clothing consists of three parts - a large, pleated skirt, a colourful blouse and a head kerchief called ‘batic’, that only the married women put on their heads. The clothing of Romani women is very colourful. A traditional Romani woman can never be seen in a dress.

present context The Kalbeliya women, even today mostly follow their traditional clothing, even for everyday use. During our field visit to one of the ‘deras’ in the outskirts of Jaipur, where a cluster of Kalbeliya families have settled, it was observed that the clothes they wear on everyday basis are similar to their traditional clothing, however, the material, the prints and the surface embellishment has been localised as they were mostly procured from the local market in Jaipur. Even the young and unmarried girls in the family were seen wearing similar clothes and they also carried ‘odhani’ on their heads. So, for them, the ‘odhani’ was not really the symbol of marriage. Key features of Women’s everyday clothing:

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• • • • • •

Very colourful Mostly printed, floral or geometrical Similar prints in skirts as well as blouse Thick waist band with drawstring Fabrics- cotton, polyester, velour, rayon, etc. Solid colours, printed or tie and dye ‘dupattas’ of bright contrasting colours • Small details, like, piping or border at the neck, hem of the blouse and skirt

Img.6.4: Present day clothing of Kalbeliya women

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Img.6.5: Illustrations showing the everyday clothing of Kalbeliya women and it’s variations

kalbeliya: the dance costume

The dance costume Introduction: The costume plays a very integral role in this dance form. It helps accentuating the dance moves of the dancer and makes them look elegant and graceful. The black colour of the costume, though originally not inspired the colour of snake, however, has been strategically used to draw a resemblance, so as to create a link between their dance to traditional practice of snakes dancing to the tunes of been.


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The Kalbeliyas , traditionally associated with snake charming, had never considered dance and music as their primary source of income. However, they only performed during the celebration of festivals, like, Holi and marriage. The traditional costume for this dance is the same as their traditional clothing, but was, however, very different from what it is today. Though the silhouette and the different components remain the same, i.e. an ankle- length flared skirt or ‘ghaghra’, a mid- thigh length top or ‘kurti’ and a stole or ‘odhni’ on their head. However these costumes used to be very colourful and there were no fixed colours, similar to the ones they would wear for any occasion. "Gulabo Sapera recalls that the first time she performed in the US, she wore her mother's red coloured ‘Ghaghra-choli’, which her mother had gifted her as blessing."

Img.6.6: Traditional clothing of Kalbeliya women, which initially was also their dance costume

of female dancers Creation of the new costume: Gulabo Sapera was the first Kalbeliya dancer to have performed this dance on stage in the Pushkar fair and then got invited to perform in the US. At that time, the costume still used to be colourful. However, later when the dance form was finally recognized by UNESCO as cultural heritage and was categorized under folk dance, it is then, they decided to have a costume for this dance.

However, black, in those days, was considered ill-fated and was not allowed to be worn in their community. So, after the garment was stitched, to conceal the black colour, she embellished it with ‘Gota’ work (shakarpara), plastic mirrors (sitara), laces and colourful piping in parallel lines throughout the skirt and kurta, which subdued the black colour and made it look bright and appealing. Her first performance in the black costume took place in Jaisalmer, where the audience was mesmerised, and it was then, they decided to have this black dress as the dance costume. Img.6.7 (Top): A still from the movie “Asha”, which shows the costume that inspired the creation of the present day Kalbeliya dance costume

Img.6.8 (Bottom): An old poster of Gulabo Sapera

64 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

According to Gulabo Sapera"She had herself designed the present costume of Kalbeliya dance. She had taken inspiration from the Bollywood movie "Asha", she saw on screen as a kid, where the lead actress, Reena Roy was wearing a similar black dress in the song ‘Sheesha Ho Ya Dil Ho’. She became so fascinated with the dress asked her father to get her a similar black dress. But as it was expensive, he refused, but after a few days he got her a five metre long black cloth for 50 rupees, with which she designed her dress and identity. "

65 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Img.6.9: Traditional Kalbeliya clothing, which initially was also their dance costume

Img.6.10: Colour variations of the Kalbeliya costume

66 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

Img.6.11: A group of Kalbeliya women dancing in their present day costumes

The Costume: The dancers wear a black ensemble, comprising primarily of four components• an ankle length, heavy-flared skirt called ‘ghaghra’, embellished heavily with silver filigree- sequins, gota work, mirrors or penny sequins. Several bias strips applique of bright colours are stitched running parallel to the hem of the skirt to make it look vibrant. They are also adorned with geometrical colourful and silver laces. • a mid- thigh length top with either half or full sleeve on the upper body, known as ‘Angrakhi’, heavily embellished with silver filigree, laces and colourful applique work. • a loose flowing stole known as ‘Odhni’, which is pinned to their head.

67 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

• an additional black legging or ‘churidaar’, that is worn under the skirt.

Img.6.12: A Kalbeliya woman showing off her dance costume

Angrakhi- Back

Ghaghra Img.6.13: Photographs of the women’s dance costume

68 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

Angrakhi- Front

Waist Band Triangular applique Hip Panel

Tasselled drawstring Gathers or knife-pleats

Flare Panel

Silver filigree lace Bias strip applique with mirror embroidery

69 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Silver penny sequins


Img.6.14: An illustration showing the details of the Ghaghra

Neck placket

Silver penny sequins

Embroidery patches

Silver filigree lace Bias strip applique with mirror embroidery Bias patti

Angrakhi- Front

Beaded lace

Beaded lace

Embroidery patches

Silver filigree lace

Angrakhi- Back

Bias strip applique with mirror embroidery Bias patti

Img.6.15: Illustrations showing details of the Angrakhi

70 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

Silver penny sequins

71 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Black net fabric

Floral pattern embellishment with multi-coloured sequin penny

Silver and black sequin lace

Silver and black sequin lace

Img.6.17: Illustrations showing details of the Odhani

72 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

Img.6.18: Illustrations showing variations in the dance costume

makers & the making On the first day of reaching Jaipur, we met Mr. Puran Nath ji and his wife, Mrs. Rajki Devi, Kalbeliya performers, who told us how their life changed from being snake charmers, going to houses and markets with snakes in a basket in search of alms to being one of the well known and globally acknowledged folk dancers, how they moved from their village, started living at ‘deras’ with fellow Kalbeliyas and then moved to Jaipur in order to perform at hotels and events to travelling abroad for performances and now owning a three-storey house in Jaipur and getting their daughter educated.

73 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Rajki Devi, Kalbeliya Dancer

Puran Nath Sapera, Musician

They also shared with us their knowledge about the dance form, its history, the social and economical challenges they face, how the earning is divided among the group and the amount of money that the middleman charges with leaving very little for them, the Government rates, that are too low and how hard they have to work to have a decent income. They also introduced us to their family, where most of them are dancers and musicians. Rajki Devi also showed us her dance costume which she got custom-made from her tailor in Jaipur. She also demonstrated us the process of wearing the dance costume.

We also met Mrs. Gulabo Sapera, the renowned Kalbeliya dancer and recipient of Padma Shri Award and her daughter, Ms. Rakhi Poonam Sapera, who is also a Kalbeliya dancer and has now started her career in acting in Rajasthani movies. Meeting them was one of the most crucial part of this field research as Gulabo Sapera is the master of this dance form and claims to have designed the Kalbeliya dance costume herself. Firstly, she told us about her life journey from being buried alive for being a girl child to becoming the first Kalbeliya dancer to perform on stage to performing in the

Gulabo Sapera, Dancer

Rakhi Sapera, Dancer

US for the first time and receiving Padmashree award for her contribution to this folk dance. She also showed us her dance costume which she has designed herself taking inspiration from the movie ‘Asha’. She explained us how she added colours to the otherwise dull, black fabric she bought for the costume by adding colourful strip applique, silver zari laces and penny sequence to the whole outfit. She also connected us to Mr. Nasiya, the tailor who stitched the costume for her and they together explained us how the costume was constructed and assembled.

The women’s costume for the Kalbeliya dance are only custom-made, according to the measurements of the dancer by only specified tailors. The first piece of the present Kalbeliya costume was made for the Kalbeliya dancer, Mrs. Gulabo Sapera, who claims to have designed the costume and done all the embellishments herself. The tailoring was done by her tailor, Lt. Mr. Gulaab Khan. However, presently, Mr. Nasiya, one of his protege is a renowned tailor for Kalbeliya costume. As the Kalbeliya costumes are only custom-made on received orders, we could not witness the process, but Mr. Nasiya and Mrs. Gulabo Sapera had verbally communicated us the whole process.

Pricing The fabric required for the costume is around 12-15 m. of polyester or poly-cotton, which is priced at around Rs. 150/ m. for the Ghaghra and the Angrakhi and another 2.25 m. of net fabric for the dupatta, price at around Rs. 80-100/ m. The fabric is procured from the local market, either by the tailor or is provided by the dancer herself. The mirror work laces cost at around Rs. 100-120/ m. and there are around 7-8 rows of laces on the skirt and another 2-3 m. required for the Angrakhi. The mirror lace for the hem of the frill comes for around Rs. 3000 and other zari laces, sequins and other trimming adds upto around Rs. 3000-4000. The tailoring charges varies from Rs. 5000-10,000, depending on the amount of embellishment on the costume.

Img.6.18: An artisan working on the Ghaghra

74 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

This, in total, sums to around Rs. 30,000-40,000, which is the average pricing for one ensemble. Cheaper and premium versions of the same can also be made depending on the fabric quality, flare of the skirt and the embellishment.

construction Ghaghra:-

46" 3"


Fabric used - Polyester or polyester-cotton blend. Quantity - 7 to 12 metre, varying on the basis of desired flare. Base colour - Black Surface Technique - Bias strips applique, colourful machine

42" 23"

Waist band

Hip panel - 2 pieces

Key features • • • •

Four panels Straight fit till hip line Gathered or knife-pleated at the hip line Frills at the hem of the skirt


embroidery, laces and silver filigree work

Frills: cut from left over fabric and joined

Fabric used for frills

6-8 m Selvage

Closure - Metal hook and eye, drawstring with fabric ‘latkan’/ 28"


75 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Cutting the panels• Taking the measurement of the hip circumference as length, the distance between the waist line and the hip line as width and adding half inch seam allowance, two rectangular pieces- front and back of the black fabric are cut on grain to form the fitted panels.


2 Pieces - Front and Back

Triangle shaped applique

• Taking the measurement of the hip circumference as length and width 2 inches, plus half inch seam allowance, waist band is cut off grain. • Taking the measurement of the hip line to the ankle minus desired width of the frill, 2 rectangular pieces of the black fabric is cut off grain with length 5-6 m. plus half inch seam allowance, forming the central flare panels.

Bias strip applique

Img.6.19: Illustrations showing the process of making the Ghaghra

Triangle shaped applique

Silver filgree laces

Surface Ornamentation-

Embellishment pattern of the flare

Bias strip applique

Embellishment pattern for the Hip panel


Stitching the panels-

The flare panel pleated at the hip line

Hip panel to be stitched to the flare panel


After cutting the fabric according to the required measurements, surface ornamentation is done on the panels before stitching.

Gathered or knife-pleated

• Firstly the two flare panels are evenly gathered or pleated into small knife pleats to attain the measurement of the hip circumference. • These two gathered panels- front and back are now stitched to the front and back of the fitted panels respectively through plain seam. • The front and back pieces are joined at side seams through plain seam, leaving an opening of 2-3 inches in the left side for ease of wearing. • The waist band is then folded into half vertically and attached to the skirt. • One edge of the frill panel is finished with baby hem and is stitched directly to the hem of the skirt with gathers or knife pleats.

Frills stitched to the bottom edge of the flare panel

Img.6.20: Illustrations showing the process of making the Ghaghra

• A drawstring with colourful fabric tassels at ends is inserted into the waistband.

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Silver penny sequins

• Rectangular panel(s) of desired width (approximately 3-4 inches) is cut for frills with length approximately thrice the measurement of the hem of the flare panels. In case adequate fabric of this length is not available, multiple panels of the same width are cut and are joined with plain seam wherever required.

On fold





Fabric used - Polyester or polyester-cotton blend. Quantity - 2.5 metre Base colour - Black Surface Technique - Applique, laces and embellishment




with silver filigree and beads

Key features -



• Mid-thigh length, half or full sleeve • Side slit at the hem of the top , with 1 inch bias patti of contrasting colour. • Round neck with piping





On fold


Front neck placket



10.25 "


• Bias patti of contrasting colour of 2 inches is cut for the hem and cuff of the angrakhi. • Plackets of contrasting colour and of required length and ¾ inch width is cut for neck closure at center front.

Surface Ornamentation• After cutting the fabric according to the patterns, surface ornamentation is done on the front, back and sleeves as desired.



77 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Cutting the Angrakhi-





Closure - Metal snap buttons/ hooks at centre front with

• The black fiber is cut on grain according to the patterns of the front and back bodice and sleeves with adequate seam allowance.

2 Pieces Front and Back


Angrakhi- Front

Img.6.21 Illustrations showing the process of making the Angrakhi

• The bias patti is also embellished as required before stitching.

13" 3.25"

• The caps of the sleeves are stitched to the armhole of the bodice with plain seam.


• The inseam of the sleeves and the side seam of the front and back panels are together with plain seam.



• A slit of desired length is made at the centre of the front neck for closure. On fold

• Plackets are stitched along the slit at the neckline.





• The neck is finally finished with bias binding. • The bias patti is stitched at the hem of the angrakhi and cuff of the sleeves. • Hooks or snap buttons are stitched to the placket for closure.

Odhani:Fabric used - Net Quantity - 2.5 metre Base colour - Black Surface Technique - Embellished with silver/ colourful


Angrakhi- Back

Bias patti for the hem

Img.6.22 Illustrations showing the process of making the Angrakhi

sequins in floral motifs throughout the stole, with sequin laces on all four edges.

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On fold

8.5" 8.75"


• The front and back panels are stitched together at the shoulder with plain seam.


10.25 "


Stitching the panels-




process of wearing

79 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

The Kalbeliya dance costume is very simple and easy to wear and a person can wear it by herself without any external help. It is worn from bottom to top, i.e. the Ghaghra first, then the Angrakhi and then the Odhani.

Step -1: The Ghaghra is worn first by stepping into it through the waist opening and pulling it up and fastening the drawstring tightly at the waist.

Img.6.23: Illustrations showing the process of wearing the costume

Step -2: Then the Angrakhi is worn from the top with

inserting the hands into the sleeves first and then the head through the neck opening and pulling it down over the skirt.

The Complete Look

80 | Clothing of Kalbeliya Women

Step -3: The Odhani is then hold with both the hands in a way that it has equal lengths on both the sides. It is then draped on the head and secured with hair pins.

07 accessories

Accessories The Kalbeliya dancers adorn themselves with their traditional tribal jewellery, which are a combination of silver and beaded jewellery, during the dance. The wonderful beaded jewellery made of colourful glass beads, with geometric patterns, handcrafted by them, enhance their notorious colourful clothing and flamboyant dance moves. The wide range of jewellery that are worn by the Kalbeliya dancers are:

Matha patti/ Maang tika The hair is mostly tied up into a bun or a braid, with a hair accessory, known as ‘matha patti’, secured to the centre parting with hair pins. It is traditionally made up of silver, embellished with small glass beads, with a spherical central pendant known as ‘borla’.

Jhoomar & Jhele

81 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

The dancers wear big silver earrings, locally known as ‘jhoomar’. These are secured to the hair with a beaded rectangular piece known as ‘jhele’.

Img.7.1 (Top): Beaded maang-tika Img.7.2 (Bottom): Jhoomar

Necklace They wear three layers of beaded jewellery around their neck•

Patiya - a beaded choker that fits closely around the


Chapluki - the intermediate layer that sits on the bust

Kanthla - a long colourful beaded necklace that extends to the waist.


Jibi Three pairs of beaded rectangular pieces are pinned to the upper part of the ‘angrakhi’ encircling the ‘kanthla’.


Img.7.3 (Top left): Patiya Img.7.5 (Bottom left): Jibi

Img.7.4 (Top right): Kanthla Img.7.6 (Bottom right): Chapluki

82 | Accessories

Traditional silver bangles that adorns the wrist of the dancers but have presently been substituted with locally available metal or colourful glass bangles.

Bajubandh A pair of beaded armlets that are worn at the upper part of the arm.

Fundi Several tassels formed of braided threads and colourful cloth are suspended from the upper arm (bajuband) and wrist (kankan), known as ‘kankan fundi’. As the dancer swirls taking circular spins, these tassels jut out horizontally from the body adding to the dynamism of the performance.

Kamarbandh A waist belt made of glass beads with beaded linear or rectangular pieces suspended from the ‘kamarbandh’ and is known as ‘kanakti’.

83 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

Ghungroo A musical anklet, tied to the feet, consisting of many small metallic bells, which server to accentuate the rhythmic aspect of the dance.

Img.7.7 (Top): Bajubandh Img.7.8 (Bottom left): Fundi Img.7.9 (Bottom right): Ghunghroo

Img.7.10: A Kalbeliya dancer, adorned with their traditional jewelleries

84 | Accessories

08 present scenario

Though the Kalbeliyas and their dance form initially did not find a place within the Indian cultural art scene, but has now been recognised by the UNESCO as an intangible Heritage. This folk dance has also been acknowledged globally as Gypsy dance and several music videos and documentaries have been made in collaboration with them. Several foreigners have also visited the city, stayed there for 3 to 6 months and learnt the dance form. Due to the growing demand of the dance form abroad, a school has also been set up in Copenhagen, Denmark by the name ‘Gulabo Sapera’s Music and Dance School.

85 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

There are also dance classes being organised in different parts of the state by these dancers in an attempt to make it more popular and pass on to the next generation. This dance, however, is no longer being restricted to the community only, but is also being propagated to dancers from other communities as well. Growing demands has been seen for the dance among the young generation as well as foreigners. Under such circumstances, the Kalbeliya dance costume has also scene a rise in its demand. However, it has still not being made available readily and needs to be custom-made, which is done mostly in Jaipur.

Img.8.1: A foreigner showing off her dance skills

86 | Present Scenario

09 Conclusion

The experience of document a craft by actually reaching out to the people from the community, interacting with them and observing them to understand how their community works has been amazing. It was a great learning process and introduced us to the cultural activities, the lifestyle, the traditions, social and cultural background of the Kalbeliya tribe and enlightened us about the evolution of the dance form and its costume with time to how it has reached to the present state.

87 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

The purpose of a craft documentation is to study the less known, yet unique crafts and disseminate the knowledge gained to the common people, which in turn, will help in uplifting the status of the craft and increase its demand in the society. Also this would intrigue the future generation to come forward and continue with their tradition with pride. The Kalbeliya dance is a tradition that brings out the true essence of the Gypsy lifestyle and their identity. The Kalbeliyas are very happy-go-lucky people and have a very positive attitude towards life. They seem to be satisfied with what they have and live together with peace and harmony. They have welcomed us with great happiness into their lives and has shared with us several facts which might not have been possible to find elsewhere. I am very grateful to them for their support and warm hospitality.

However it has been observed that due to the lack of demand and poor income, the younger generation from the communities are trying to shift to other occupations. This documentation is an attempt to help the dance form gain popularity so that the younger generation has enough reason to continue with the tradition and help flourish this incredible dance form. Also as an apparel design student, the study of their clothing has made me understand how clothing modifies over time due to influence from external factors, however, still retaining the essence of the original clothing. It has also helped me develop a better sense of garment construction, details and functionality.

88 | Bibliography

bibliography Thesis Documents/ Dissertations:

Photo Credits:

‘Manual on Roma History and Culture’ by Teodora Krumova, Deyan Kolav, 2013

Acknowledgment page- http://artpictures.club/bigpicture.html

‘A Study Investigating the Cultural Traditions and Customs of the Romani Community in Gorton, Manchester’ by Natalie Edden, Kelly-Anne Hughes, Elizabeth McCormack, Catherine Prendergast, 2011 ‘Songs of the Jogi Nath Kalbeliya of Jaisalmer’, an action research/visual anthropology project by Elizabeth Wickett, 2013 ‘Charming images of history: Kalbeliya memories of Itinerancy, Begging, and Snake services’, A thesis by Carter Hawthorne Higgins, 2010 ‘Intangible Inventions: The Kalbeliya Gypsy Dance Form, From Its Creation to UNESCO Recognition’ by Ayla Joncheere, 2015

Video Documentaries:

89 | Kalbeliya : The Saperas of Rajasthan

UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2010 ‘Cobra Gypsies’, a video documentary by Raphael Treza, 2015

Websites: http://tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/ http://www.indianmirror.com/culture/states-culture/rajasthan. html https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Gypsies http://www.discoveredindia.com/rajasthan/the-land-of-kings. htm

Preface page- http://www.blueskydreamers.com Introduction page- http://www.simonajovic.com 1.1- https://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture 2.4, 7.10 - http://www.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/jaipur.html 2.5 - http://www.lovevivah.com 2.6- https://theculturetrip.com 2.7- https://www.treebo.com/blog/places-to-visit-in-jaipur 2.8- https://jaipurthrumylens.com/2015/04/17/pelicans-atbarkhera/ 2.9- http://www.nathanhortonphotography.com 2.10- “All about Sanganeri Hand Block Printing - Dekha Andekhi”, still from video documentary by Akash Kamthan 2.11- http://textileindustry.ning.com 2.12, Kalbeliya: The Tribe page, 5.27, 7.1https://www.flickr.com/photos 2.13- https://www.indianholiday.com/fairs-andfestivalsrajasthan 2.14- http://www.sompaisoscatalans.cat 2.15, 3.2, - https://www.thrillophilia.com/places-to-visit-in-jaipur 2.17- https://www.andbeyond.com 2.18, 3.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.7, 5.11, “Charming images of history: Kalbeliya memories of Itinerancy, Begging, and Snake services”, A thesis by Carter Hawthorne Higgins, 2010

4.2- https://500px.com/photo

6.8- https://indianexpress.com

4.3- http://www.keywordsdoctor.com

6.9- https://steemit.com/philosophy

4.4, 4.5- https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Gypsies

6.10- http://indiabazaar.net

4.6- https://www.alternet.org

6.11- https://www.utsavpedia.com/cultural-connections/ Kalbeliya/

4.7- http://thestrangecontinent.com 4.8, 4.9 - “Songs of the Jogi Nath Kalbeliya of Jaisalmer”, an action research/visual anthropology project by Elizabeth Wickett (2013)

6.12- https://astonishingindia.net

4.10- https://www.webstagram.one

7.3, 7.4, 7.6- http://www.tribalmuse.com

4.11- https://www.dekulture.com/mohini-devi-kalbeliya Community and Culture page, Clothing of Kalbeliya Women page, Accessories page- https://i.pinimg.com/originals 5.1, 5.5, 5.6- Stills from “Cobra Gypsies”, a video documentary by Raphael Treza

6.18- https://www.alamy.com 7.2- http://www.sohu.com/a/200606092_662410 7.10- http://takadhimi.com Present Scenario page- http://borisdamge.com/kalbeliyadance-leslie-rosen/ 8.1- https://traveltriangle.com/blog

5.2, Conclusion page- http://kalbeliyaartsacademy.com/enUS/50962/gallery 5.8, “The Kalbeliyas of Rajasthan: Jogi Nath Snake Charmer: An Ethnography of Indian Non-Pastoral Nomads 1998” : Thesis for Ph.D. by Miriam Robertson 5.9, 5.10, 5.25- https://www.gettyimages.com.au/photos/ kalbeliya 6.1- https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/Kalbeliya-folk-songs-anddances-of-rajasthan 6.6- http://aio548.info/dances-of-rajasthan-with-names 6.7- Still form the bollywood movie “Aasha”, directed by J. Om Prakash

90 | Bibliography

6.3- http://folkcostume.blogspot.com