Dancing by the Juniper: Notes from the performative space of the Brokpa's cultural enactment

Bhagabati, Dikshit Sarma (2021) Dancing by the Juniper: Notes from the performative space of the Brokpa's cultural enactment. Asian Journal of Social Science, 49 (2). pp. 109-119. ISSN 15685314

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This article explores the modes of form-construction in the performative sphere of the Brokpa's cultural enactment. Anthropocenic anxieties are embedded in the territoriality of this Himalayan community's folk art-form and the terrain constitutes a stage to host it. The participatory framework of their songs and dances reveals the social roles that shape the positionalities of the audience and the performer, signaling a free-flowing movement between these locations in the performative field. The Brokpa dancer's identity, carved out as a racialized attraction for the tourism market, also undergoes differentiation within the community itself based on class, gender, age, and other socio-economic indices. Yet the ultimate signifier of a performing Brokpa subject is authenticated through social differences heightened by modernity, while constantly resisting the exoticized portrayals of the community. What emerges in the end is a problematization of the line between the folk and contemporary, local and global, and traditional and modern art-forms.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Brokpa | Ladakh | Darchiks | Folk performance | Exoticization | Social difference | Globalization
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Cultural Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Customs, Etiquette and Folklore
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 15:00
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 11:10
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajss.2021.01.002
Additional Information: I cannot, and nor do I wish to, solely claim my time in Darchiks for myself. My friends Malini and Medha did not just accompany me but co-labored in equal measure to bring the field much closer to the familiar, and I shall be forever grateful to them for our sojourn. My sincerest thanks to the people of Darchiks for sharing their treasured life courses with us; more so, for welcoming us wholeheartedly to their fascinating cultural cosmos. Sonam Rinchen and his family offered us a place to stay and willingly became our guardians. Their son Rigzen, younger to us by a decade and a half, took it upon himself to turn us squarely into Brokpas. We owe an irredeemable debt to this family for never treating us like the strangers that we were. Sadiq Ali introduced us to Darchiks and remained a friend and guide throughout our stay, and much beyond. His school staff, very affably, let us temporarily usurp their jobs and attempt teaching a legion of restive, energetic kids. Students at the school showed us how infinitely fun fieldwork and teaching can be. For all this and much more, I have nothing but immense gratitude for those at the Government Middle School, Darchiks. Lastly, the theoretical impetus behind this piece was galvanized in Dr. Mani Shekhar Singh’s Anthropology and Art elective at Jindal Global Law School. I fondly remain thankful for our many engagements.
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/716


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