Living Traditions of Ramayana and Mahabharata

Two projects on folk and tribal traditions of Ramkatha (project initiated in 2007) and the living traditions of Mahabharata (project initiated in 2010) were initiated respectively. The Division has organised some major events under these two, which include:

  • International Symposia
  • Literary Readings
  • Publications/ Catalogues
  • Acquisitions
  • Audio-visual Documentation/Ethnographic Films
  • Performances
  • Ritual Demonstrations
  • Exhibition and Film Shows
  • Story Telling Workshops and Artists Workshops

(a) Outcome

Audio Visual Documentation of about 20 forms of Ramkatha traditions of folk and tribal societies has been done including Bhili Ramkatha, Gond Ramayani, Gaddi Rameen, and Lanka Chadai of Mewat by Muslim Jogis, Garhwali Ramlila, and many more.

(b) Films

  • Kumaoni Ramlila: Ek Durlabh Parampara
  • Folk Traditions of Ramkatha in the North East
  • Leela in Kheriya
  • Ramlila in Odisha

(c) DVD with English translation

  • Bundeli Ramkatha
  • Bhili Ramkatha
  • Mewati Ramkatha

(d) Conferences:

  • An International Symposium on Living Traditions of Mahabharata was held on 10-16 February 2011 at IGNCA in which 70 scholars from India and abroad participated in the discussions and presented papers. Seminar proceeding titled ‘Aesthetics Textures: Mahabharata and Its Living Traditions’ is in press.
  • An International Conference on Ramlila titled ‘Epic Processes: Mobility, Patronage and Aesthetics’ was held on 23-29 November, 2015 at IGNCA in which 63 scholars including 20 scholars & 3 observers from abroad participated

(d) Exhibition:

Leela : A major thematic exhibition based on the Ramayana tradition curated by Prof. Molly Kaushal, Head of the Division was held at the IGNCA from 28 November to 25 December, 2017. Twenty two museums/ institutions from all across the country participated in it by loaning precious and rare exhibits from their collections. The exhibition encompassed philosophical, narrative, visual, pictorial and performing aspects of the Ramayana tradition in classical, folk and contemporary contexts. It explored and highlighted all the aspects associated with lila through the lila-charita of Shri Rama, which was the main theme of the exhibition