>> Bajantiri (Musicians)
1.0 Craft Identity
1.1 Name of Craft: Village Musicians
1.2 Vernacular equivalent: Bajantiri
1.3 Craft description: Traditional brass and percussion bands that plays in temples and during festivals and other special occasions in the villages.
2.0 Locations (within survey boundary): Kanakagiri, Gollarahalli
3.0 Historical overview
Traditionally, these musicians are from the Korava or Melar communities. Koracha (also known as Koraga or Korava) communities were originally aboriginal tribes who developed in a multiplicity of trades – hunters, fortune-tellers, cattle breeders, basketmakers and brigands. Koragas are independently defined as a wild tribe of basket makers who “live on the outskirts of villages and may not dwell in houses of clay or mud but in huts of leaves called koppu” [Walhouse, Madras Census Report 1901: 3465].
They were traditionally involved in the process of making the instruments that they played with, but they now buy them ready-made.
4.0 Works Process
4.1 Seasonality: Predominantly during 3 months of the Wedding season.
4.3: Tools: Instruments used now include the clarinet, drum or dhol, side drum, cornet, trumpet.
4.4 Work Pattern: Bands are hired for particular occasions.
4.5 Products: Music for particular processions.
4.6 Pricing range: Rs. 3000 to 10,000 per performance for the whole band
5.0 Craftsperson’s perspective
Band instrument players consider their artform socially low ranking due to the traditional stigma attached to their communities. They have the least pride in the community origin of their craft compared to other craftspeople surveyed in the region.
6.0 Lister’s comments
6.1 Uniqueness (in material / tools / products / location etc)
Interestingly villagers considered Bajantiri craftspeople rather than performing artistes and used the terms art and craft interchangeably. They are included as a living craft aspect of the region due to the above reason and because they were traditionally involved in making their instruments.