Discipline Faculty

Jaunsari Lok Katha

Kirti Kumari

Guide
Rishi Singhal

Jaunsari is a community in the villages of Chakrata and Kalsi in Uttarakhand. They were recognized as tribal despite being a traditional Hindu society, with a social structure like other mountain communities. Their culture is distinct, owing to an alternative belief system. They worship Hindu gods and goddesses, but also have a leaning towards ancestral spirits, queer demons, weapons, dyed rags and symbols. Even as an isolated tribe, mingling with the outside world is causing a transition in their culture.

Through the medium of photography, Kirti made an ontological study of both the natural and the supernatural, by making visible the invisible forces of their disappearing traditions. It is an inquiry into the nature of the universe through the left-over, tainted forms of superstitions, speech, beliefs and philosophies. The photographs are her intimate response and sense-making process to the alternative yet ordinary lives of the people of this community living in the hills.