Kaavad Tradition of Rajasthan : A Portable Pilgrimage


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SKU: 978-93-83098-32-3 Category:



The Kaavad of Rajasthan is a portable shrine with multiple doors that fold into themselves. The Kaavadiya Bhat or the storyteller journeys with this brightly painted wooden box to the homes of his patrons, to recite their genealogies and regale them with the stories of the pantheon of deities painted on the shrine. It is a tradition that binds communities in common memory and mythology. Where did it come from? What is its fate in the world today? Exploring a panel at a time of this curious mnemonic device, the author, of Kaavad Tradition of Rajasthan, Nina Sabnani, leads us on a journey to uncover the myths and mysteries of this unique oral-storytelling tradition.



Nina Sabnani is a storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to inform and enlighten her audience. Nina graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, and received a master’s degree in film from Syracuse University, NY, which she pursued as a Fulbright Fellow in 1997. Her doctoral research at the IDC focused on Rajasthan’s Kaavad storytelling tradition. She taught at the National Institute of Design for 22 years before moving to Mumbai in 2006. She teaches and coordinates the PhD programme at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT, and Bombay.

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