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Synthesis of Culture Corbett, Jim Corbett National Park, Corbett Tiger Reserve

Synthesis of Culture Corbett Jim Corbett National Park

Mountains are home to several unique human cultures with distinct lifestyles. Life in the mountains is tough and takes a heavy toll on the hillfolk who inhabit the difficult terrain. For this reason worship, religion, social gatherings and fairs play an important part in the life of mountain dwellers. Corbett represents a synthesis of two such hill cultures – Kumaoni and Garhwali. In Kumaon and Garhwal, like in many other mountain cultures worldwide, music and dance is an important cultural element. These regions have distinct folk art forms that are woven in the texture of daily life.

The dances are either religious or recreational and most are performed in groups on community gatherings. Dances having a religious disposition revolve around Hindu deities like Shiva, Durga or Kali, and the Epics like Mahabharata. Others are performed for recreation at weddings, melas or harvest celebrations, describing folklore or romantic tales. The most popular dance forms are Dhol, Jhora, Chanchari, Chapeli, Devtali, Cholia, Kyunki, Jhumaila and Chunfula.
The music of the hills is equally enchanting. Apart from singing pahari music uses a variety of instruments like drums, traditional trumpets, flutes and bagpipes. Many traditional folk tunes have given rise to different ragas of the classical forms. The main forms are Neoli, Chaiti, Bairas Hurkiya-bol.

Songs used to invoke particular deities are sung by jagariyas, the perpetrators of this art, to bring divine benedictions and good luck to the household. Ancient rock paintings have been found in the area, suggesting that the art runs far back in time.Wood carving is a unique craft of the region Perhaps it is from these that more evolved forms emanated. Alpana, the traditional painting, is a vibrant art form that involves painting of motifs on walls, doorways and floors, for decoration during festivals and worship. Alpana is made by women by hand using natural colours like ochre, rice flour, turmeric and vermilion.

Metalwork and stone sculpture were known in this region but the most visible form is woodcarving. Even today traditional Kumaoni houses have intricately carved doors, doorframes and wooden pillars.

Steeped in religious fervor the dances performed here are of both types religious as well as recreational. Dances having religious aspects move around Hindu deities like Durga, Shiva or Kali and the epics like Mahabharta. Some of the interesting dance style that is performed by Pahari people is for recreational purpose that is shown on the occasion of weddings, melas or harvest celebrations representing the romantic tales of the region. Jhora, Chapeli, Dhol, Chanchari, Devtali, Kyunki, Cholia, Chunfula and Jhumaila are some of the most popular dance forms. It is truly said that music fuels the mind and body and thus fuels our creativity. Likewise the music of the hills is equally enchanting. While singing pahari music they uses a variety of instruments like traditional trumpets, drums, flutes and bagpipes. These traditional folks have given rise to many ragas of the classical forms. The main forms include: Chaiti, Bairas Hurkiya Biol and Neoli.

Festivals and upholding the traditional values form a very significant part of the culture of the people in Corbett. A lot of festivals celebrating the different goddesses of their religion are celebrated here. This includes the Nanda Devi Fair, Garjiadevi Fair, Hariyali Devi Fair and so on. The folk songs and dances of this town are also an inherent part of the culture and traditional dances like Chholiya Nritya, Jhora and Chhapeli are famous here. The “Chholiya Nritya” is a traditional war-dance and is performed using a sword and shield. The folk songs are mostly heroic and some also include tales of love and ethics. The cuisine is mainly based on rice and the recipes are known to be delectable.

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