Home Anthropology Folklore of Tharparkar: An Indigenous Folklorist’s Exploration

Folklore of Tharparkar: An Indigenous Folklorist’s Exploration

Folklore of Tharparkar:  An Indigenous Folklorist’s Exploration

Role of folklore in social life and contemporary discourses discussed at a session organized by the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

Afsar Jatoi

Folklore has been an integral part of any society reflecting the values, beliefs, customs, and traditions of its people. It is the carrier of wisdom and tradition of predecessors and knowledge of one generation passed down to another through it. Folklore shapes, reinforces and challenges the identity of a society. In an era where rapid modernization and globalization are changing the whole structures of societies, and the cultures are going extinct, folklore and heritage have become relevant more than ever.

Folklore-SU Sindh Courier-4Acknowledging the importance of folklore, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro organized a talk on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. The renowned writer, poet, and researcher of folklore and indigenous knowledge, Bharumal Amrani was invited as a guest speaker to deliver a lecture on the folklore of Tharparkar. A large number of faculty members and students attended the event and warmly engaged in the Q&A session on various aspects and issues of folklore and its importance and continuity in present times, especially folkloric knowledge and its relevance in the protection of the environment and plants.

Folklore-SU Sindh Courier=2Mr. Bharumal tapped into the culture and biodiversity of the Thar Desert and gave an overview of oral tradition that is practiced throughout the region. The different forms of folklore and their role in shaping the social life of the region were explored. He complemented his arguments with his research works on indigenous knowledge that he has translated or compiled with the help of the local communities of Tharparkar. Being part of South Asia, Tharparkar has a very rich oral tradition and his book Chitter Boli Charna is all about the oral tradition of Charans, an indigenous community of Tharparkar, and their various social roles and functions in the social life of the region. Diverse genres of their poetry like epic, romantic, and entertaining were discussed in the session. The poetic genre of Sati was viewed as a way of socialization. As exogamy prevails in the Hindu folks, the girl has to shift to a new home after marriage and accommodate and adjust to a new environment. Satis are poetic expressions full of instruction to the newlywed girl on how to act in the face of challenges. His other works Thar ji Lok Dahap and Manjahan Lakk Latif Chae, which are about folk wisdom and knowledge, were also discussed.

Folklore-SU Sindh Courier-1Special attention was given to the role of folklore in social life and contemporary discourses. How development and modernization have affected the traditional ways, how folklore is accommodating and contesting the change within society, how the folk medicine mentioned in the indigenous knowledge plays a role in curing diseases, and how its benefit can be maximized.

The guest talk event aimed to introduce the idea of heritage anthropology by paying special attention to folklore and intangible heritage and its various forms and genres like folk poetry of Charan bard community of Tharparkar, folk songs and indigenous knowledge related to everyday life ways. The guest talk event was moderated by Dr. Muhabat Ali Shah, a faculty member at the Department of anthropology and archaeology followed by the welcome remarks by Manik Mustafa Shar and a concept note presented by Dr. Rafique Wassan, the two faculty members of the department.


Afsar Jatoi is a student at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro



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