Everyday CreativitySinging Goddesses in the Himalayan Foothills

Everyday CreativitySinging Goddesses in the Himalayan Foothills

Kirin Narayan

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226407425

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book's author's imagination was captured the very first time that, as a girl visiting the Himalayas, she heard Kangra women join their voices together in song. Returning as an anthropologist, she became fascinated by how they spoke of singing as a form of enrichment, bringing feelings of accomplishment, companionship, happiness, and even good health—all benefits of the “everyday creativity” are explored in this book. Part ethnography, part musical discovery, part poetry, part memoir, and part unforgettable portraits of creative individuals, this work brings this remote region in North India alive in sight and sound while celebrating the incredible powers of music in our lives. The text portrays Kangra songs about difficulties on the lives of goddesses and female saints as a path to well-being. Like the intricate geometries of mandalu patterns drawn in courtyards or the subtle balance of flavors in a meal, well-crafted songs offer a variety of deeply meaningful benefits: as a way of making something of value, as a means of establishing a community of shared pleasure and skill, as a path through hardships and limitations, and as an arena of renewed possibility.