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Mount Holyoke College

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

India: National Identity and the Arts


This paper examines the history and present functions of the pair of kettledrums called Nagara in Rajasthan, India. The location of study was centered in Pushkar. Library research, informants, and lessons on the drums make up the basis for the study. This essay focuses on the contemporary use of the ancient drum in traditional and performance contexts. Informants included Nagara players as well as supporters of Rajasthani folk music. The study focuses mainly on one family of drummers in Pushkar, the Solanki family. The drum has been adapted to many different contexts, and remained in use for traditional, religious and cultural performance. This study brings forth some contemporary issues folk musicians such as Nagara players face while trying to make a living or pursue their art form in the modern world.


Other Arts and Humanities


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