Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Basava and Woman

Okay, not a very good pic. She was too dark and the light was on her face creating shadows. But I took this pic in front of my house to show the future people what we considered an art.
These kind of people were very common when I was growing up. They are basically nomads from the northern parts of Karnataka (Always wanted to be a nomad, a kind of hippy!!) The bull is called a Basava and is very colourfully decorated. It is taught little tricks like standing on its knees, nodding its head when asked something, etc. These people beg with the bull. It works in India because the cow is very holy.
Sometimes, there is a decorated cow with the bull and upon request, a marriage is performed. The owner asks the cow if she wants to get married to the bull and she plays hard to get. She has to be cajoled till she relents! The entire drama is very entertaining. Folk media had a very special place in Indian society.
It is sad that it is an almost extinct art form today. These people are more interested in using the animals to beg than also entertain. They are not fed properly and I think it has also been made illegal to use animals this way, not sure though. If only the owners would continue to love their cattle as they used to and not use them as a prop!

3 comments:

San Nakji said...

I suppose that's what money does... It's really sad.

Deepa said...

i know. ultimately money is all that matters. i mean, how many of us would be doing what we are doing now if not for the money?

fdfs said...

Very interesting! At least folk traditions are being kept alive in some form or another, I guess.