The history of the folk concept in India is deeply enmeshed with colonial-era knowledge projects. Contemporary music production in various regional locations has developed throughout the past forty years in ways that have moved the concept well beyond a stable definition located in a pre-modern agrarian ideal. This review article summarises Stefan Fiol’s new book, Recasting Folk in the Himalayas, and illustrates how the author re-evaluates the folk concept as a continuously emerging and newly creative arena for music practitioners in the state of Uttarakhand. Fiol’s comprehensive account resonates with etymologies for the Hindi and Sanskrit lok while also providing deep evidence for a folk spirituality based in regional ritual practice.
- Hindu ritual
- Indian music