Audio & eBook | Kota music and “signs of indigeneity” in the Nilgiri Hills – Tamil Nadu

Listen to “Konjenetre bommeyetre mānte nōṭē” and other beautiful songs of the Kota community (with detailed explanations) on Kota God Song >>

Richard K. Wolf (Harvard University) and Frank Heidemann (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) | Read the full introduction >>

[…] Many tribals also engage in activities that articulate tribal values in intra-community and intimate domestic settings and not in public. A Kota man or woman, for instance, might chastise another woman for wearing Tamil clothing or a poṭṭu (dot on the forehead worn by Hindu women) in the village. Nowadays it is generally acceptable to adopt modern South Indian sartorial styles in town, but at home it is important, for women especially, to look Kota—and that means, by Kota standards, to look tribal or indigenous.

The process of creating and manipulating such signs of indigeneity holds pride of place in this volume’s title: “The Bison and the Horn: Indigeneity, Performance, and the State of India.”  […]

Source: Guest Editors’ Introduction Indigeneity, Performance, and the State in South Asia and Beyond, Asian Ethnology 73/1–2, 2014
Date Visited: Wed Aug 30 2017 16:23:08 GMT+0200 (CEST)

The bison and the horn: Indigeneity, performance, and the state of India. Special Issue of Asian Ethnology 73(1-2). edited by Richard Wolf and Frank Heidemann, 2014

Source: courtesy Richard K. Wolf (email 27 August 2017), Professor of Music and South Asian Studies, Department of Music, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

More information on Nilgiri music


  • For up-to-date information on the above topics, type “Kota music Nilgiri”,  “Kota customs Tamil Nadu” or similar search terms in the search window here: Google custom search – Indian press coverage of tribal culture and education >>
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