Folklores of Chepangs: A Study in the Performative Identity
Keywords:Shamanism, Chepangs, olklore, identity, cultural performance, Ritual
This dissertation analyzes folklore and cultures of Chepang community of Kalika municipality -10, Chitwan. It is based on performance studies; it argues that performance of rituals, folklores, myths, and shamanistic performance of this indigenous group are essential to affirm their identity in the contemporary times when their economic, religious, demographic changes become dominant. The myths of Chepang also affirm the privacy of their dwelling places and its domestic livestock and nearby wild animals which they hunt for food. The symbolic representation of folklore makes their land of habitation including their vegetable garden a sacred place. The sanctity of their place of dwelling comes from the fact that it had sheltered and fed their ancestors. This dissertation analyzes their songs, dances, rituals and shamanistic performances in the light of Richard Schechner’s notion of performance, Erving Goffman’s idea of everyday activities (performance) and Clifford Geert’z idea of culture and performance. In the present times, the cultures of different communities are being intersected and from this Chepangs are not exceptional. However, they are able to preserve their culture and identity through their folkloric performances. Folklores and rituals are the cultural performances and folklore like songs, Shamanism and rituals are cultural representation of this ethnic community. Therefore ChepangS mark their identity through their folkloric cultural performances by giving it continuity and preservation.
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