ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Onstage and Offstage

Dance of the Brokpa

The Brokpa’s traditional dance provokes different reactions at different venues and under different circumstances.

A filling meal and a couple of crisp notes, what more could one ask for?” Sonam smiled, while adjusting his headgear. The subedar had just brought the news that the guests were about 15 minutes away. The soldiers had to rush, for impeccability was an official requirement, but Sonam and his fellow Brokpa could take all the time in the world. The beads had to be worn, the sheepskin brushed, and the instruments checked, and there was always time for small talk in between everything. Of course, this nonchalant, laid-back attitude was characteristic of their villages nestled amid the rocky heights of the Himalayas.

I was at the Women’s Empowerment Centre (WEC) in Darchiks, a village rich in apricots, almonds, pears, apples and grapes, situated 70-odd kilometres away from Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, in the area popularly known as Aryan Valley. The village is one of three major settlements of the Brokpa tribe, a community of Dard people inhabiting northern Pakistan and north-western India.

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Updated On : 3rd Aug, 2018
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