River Valley Cultures

THE CULTURAL PERSONALITY OF NARBADA - a window into Adiwasi mind…

Gond, Pardhan and Baiga adivasis living along the river Narmada, near the place of its origin tell numerous folk stories that reflect the cultural personality of the river that seems to be residing in the minds of the people since ages. They all lovingly call it as ‘Narbada Mai’. A few of the stories told by the villagers were recorded in an artist’s camp some time back. Stories presented here were somewhat more popular and formed a basis of the art works created by the adivasi folks who used one or other part of the story as a theme. In narrations and expressions of the people, a natural variety exists that offer more than one basis for underlying frame work of unity. In the end it all gives a feelings that Narbadaji is not just a flowing volume of water. It is also a timeless, continuous flow of faith, an eternal belief and cultural investment into the forces of Nature. The river seems to create an emerging and dissolving out play of relationships between the river, and the content of other elements of the nature and the people. The river seems to have been always creating cultural bridges between the people and her wholesome entity and the people living by the side of it respect it for totality. The river flows not just on the ground but in and between the minds.

The cultural personality of Narbadaji can be studied not just through folk stories and songs but also observing both, the process and the context of several forms of art, thought and conduct, etiquette and behaviour patterns, beliefs and connected practices. All of these go in to making of a culture and individually each reflects something unique. Among the socio cultural aspects connected with Narbada some of the above mentioned ones silently appear, some to be more interesting and important to the people and others, which, otherwise, also contribute towards an understanding of their response to the nature.

Updated date: 10-05-2016 01:45:42