Excerpts from February 2013 report
This month I documented the entire process of ritual art form Hasagara with my collaborator Hanmi . I invited Hanmi to document her special folk art called Hasagara drawn only in marriage ceremony. The motifs are driven from the nature and the daily life .This particular art form-hasagara has got great community aspects .The rituals ,the stories regarding the art form has got the great cultural values .This art form has been depicted in their oral epic song Mahabharata
I attended folklore seminar with the collaboration of Janapada academy, Bangalore and introduced Oral song epic Mahabharata of different tribes and communities from Uttara Kannada with my collaborator Hanmi .I interacted with two more singers with Hanmi and helped Hanmi to decorate the stage with her folk art . The rituals ,the stories regarding the art form has got the great cultural values .This art form has been depicted in their oral epic song Mahabharata.The seminar on tribal Mahabharata in different tribes and communities in this region helped me to make a comparative study.
Shri. Hanmi—the collaborator, tribe elder and master artisan
Hanmi Kshetra Gowda is 75 years old and belongs to a tribe called Gamokkalu, from Allanki, a village on the banks of river Sharavathi, district Honnavar in Karnataka. Hanmi was born to Narayana Nagappa Gowda and Ganapi. She studied till class four and can read and write. Hanmi married Kshetra Gowda from Malkod and lived in a two-storied house name Bhavanti mane with 60 other family members. Hanmi lost her husband 15 years ago and now lives with one of her sons. She has five sons and one daughter—they are all married and settled.
Now, Hanmi is a respected community elder and a master artisan. Hanmi is the one of the few artists who has mastered oral epic songs and is an expert in other verbal art specific to her Gamokkalu community. Even without a major formal education, Hanmi is nevertheless a passionate scholar. Her passion is to spread and preserve the knowledge and skills of the Gamokkalu tribe; to make the youth of the community proud of their heritage; and to have outsiders appreciate her culture. She has been a scholar, an educator and a great resource person for many years. She continues to work as a master artisan for a study programme in folk art of the Gamokkalu people.
Unfortunately, Hanmi is also the only person in her community who can sing the entire Mahabharata; and although she is a strong septuagenarian, her voice quality is deteriorating and Hanmi finds it difficult to sing continuously. There is an urgent need to document the oral traditions of this tribe—specifically Hanmi’s voice, songs, her tunes while maintaining its original context so it can be preserved for future generations
For more information about Hanmi and her oral heritage please refer