Mahabharata: The Tharu Barka Naach
Edited by Kurt Meyer and Pamela Deuel
1998, pp. VI + 120
ISBN: 978 0966674200
In 1993 Kurt Meyer and Pamela Deuel, on a routine research trip in Nepal’s Tarai, learned that farmers in one Tharu village had once performed a folk version of the Mahabharata, known in Tharu as the Barka Naach, the “big dance.” Meyer and Deuel learned that although the tradition had died out, a few older villagers still recalled the songs and dances of this important religious festival. When they were told that a collection of songs and song fragments existed in writing, they decided to help revive the tradition and to publish the collection of songs. In autumn 1998, the villagers of Dang Valley performed the Barka Naach for the first time since the early 1960’s. Tradition holds that, to be ritually correct, the complete. It is hoped that the 1998 festival will lead to the continuing revival of the Barka Naach among the Dangaura Tharu in future years.
Kurt Meyer born in Zurich, Switzerland. He received his architectural degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and practiced architecture in Los Angeles for 40 years. He has been a Himalayan explorer for twenty years and a collector of rare books on Central Asia and the Himalayan countries. In 1992, he sold his architectural practice and devotes full time to researching the architectural design and artistic traditions of the Tharu of Nepal.
Pamela Deuel has lived in Nepal since 1993, researching, living with and recording the customs of the Tharu. Born in California, she graduated from Stanford University in Journalism and has an MA in Multicultural Education.