The Kumaoni (कुमाँऊनी (Devanagari)) are a people of the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand, a region in the Indian Himalayas. Their Kumaoni language (कुमाँऊनी भाषा (Devanagari)) is one of the Central Pahari languages.
Kumaoni is spoken by over 2,360,000 (1998) people of Indian states of Uttarakhand - Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat, Rudrapur (Udhamsingh Nagar) districts; Assam; Bihar; Delhi; Madhya Pradesh; Maharashtra and Punjab, besides being spoken in some regions of Himachal Pradesh and Nepal.
The Central Pahari languages include Kumaoni and Garhwali (spoken in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand). Kumaoni, like Garhwali, has many regional dialects spoken in different places in Uttarakhand. Amongst its dialects, the Central Kumauni is spoken in Almora and northern Nainital, Northeastern Kumauni is in Pithoragarh, Southeastern Kumauni is in Southeastern Nainital, Western Kumauni is west of Almora and Nainital.
Almost all people who can speak and understand Kumaoni can also speak and understand Hindi,the official language of India. However, due to a number of reasons, Kumaoni is one of the languages which is shrinking very rapidly. UNESCO’s Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger designates Kumaoni as language in the unsafe category and which requires consistent conservation efforts.
Dialects of Kumaon region
In all, there are 20 dialects spoken in the Kumaon region, including, Johari, Majh Kumaiya, Danpuriya, Askoti, Sirali, Soryali, Chaugarkhyali, Kumaiya, Gangola, Khasparjia, Phaldakoti, Pachhai, and Rauchaubhaisi"Uttarakhand Worldwide". Dialects of Uttarakhand. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
Dialects of Kumaoni Language
Note: Baitada Dialect and Askoti Dialect are almost similar dialect.
Scholars also consider the heavy influence of Kumaoni on the Palpa language of Nepal.
- Tibeto-Burman (not dialects of Kumaoni; these non-Indo-European languages are indeed spoken in Kumaon)
Spoken in Upper Reaches of Kumaon Himalayas.
Being part of the Indo-Aryan dialect continuum Kumauni shares its grammar with other Indo-Aryan languages especially Garhwali, Hindi, Rajasthani languages, Kashmiri and Gujarati. It shares much of its grammar with the other languages of the Central Pahari like Garhwali and Jaunsari. The peculiarities of grammar in Kumaoni and other Central Pahari languages exist due to the influence of the now extinct language of the Khasas, the first inhabitants of the region.[The Khas-kura may still be spoken in few regions of far-western hills of Nepal. Modern Nepali language is the direct successor of Khas-kura. Hilly Aryan people of Nepal (Bahun-Chettris, Dalits, Thakuris) consider themselves as direct descendent of Khas people. The grammatical differences of Khas-kura with Kumauni language, examples given below in this article, resembles exactly to that of modern Nepali language.]
In Kumauni the verb substantive is formed from the root ach, as in both Rajasthani and Kashmiri. In Rajasthani its present tense, being derived from the Sanskrit present rcchami, I go, does not change for gender. But in Pahari and Kashmiri it must be derived from the rare Sanskrit particle *rcchitas, gone, for in these languages it is a participial tense and does change according to the gender of the subject. Thus, in the singular we have: - Here we have a relic of the old Khasa language, which, as has been said, seems to have been related to Kashmiri. Other relics of Khasa, again agreeing with north-western India, are the tendency to shorten long vowels, the practice of epenthesis, or the modification of a vowel by the one which follows in the next syllable, and the frequent occurrence of disaspiration. Thus, Khas siknu, Kumauni sikhno, but Hindi sikhna, to learn; Kumauni yeso, plural yasa, of this kind.
Conjugation of the verb Lekh (लेख) to write, in all three tenses in Kumaoni.
|तू लेख छे
||tu lekh chhe
|तुम लेख छो
||tum lekh chho
|ऊँ लेखन छन
||un lekhan chhan
||I will write
||you will write
||he will write
||we will write
||you will write
||they will write
Example short phrases
||Hello (lit. praise the lord) Formal.
|कस हेरे छे?
||Kas hare chhe?
||How are you? Informal
|कस हेरो छा?
||Kas haro cha
||How are you? Formal
||I am fine
|काँ जाण छा?
||kaa jaan chha?
||Where are you going
||How much?/How many?
|तुमऱ नौ के छ?
||Tumar nau ke che?
||What is your name?
Kumaoni language has had many noteworthy writers, prominent among them are
- Gumani Pant
- Shyama Charan Datt Pant (1901–67)
- Dr. Y. D. Vaishnava "Ashok"
- Girish Tiwari 'Girda (1942–2010)
- Krishna Singh Nagarkoti "Kanhaiya"
- Shailesh Matiyani (1931–2001)
- Mohan Upreti (1925–1997)
- Sher Singh Bisht renowned as Sherda Anpad
- Jeevan Chandra Joshi 'Jeevan Barbajyu'
- Dr. Ramesh Chandra Shah
- Puran Chandra Joshi
- Gyan Pant
- Devki Nandan Kandpal
- Dr.Deepa Kandpal
- Dr.Dev Singh Pokhariya
- Himanshu Joshi
- Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Bansidhar Pathak 'Jigyashu'
- Dr.Prayag Joshi
- Dr.Diwa Bhatt
- Bahadur Bora 'Sribandhu'
- Dr.Sher Singh Bisht
- Shekhar Joshi
- Mathura Dutt Mathpal
- Rajendra Bora AKA Tribhuvan Giri
- Jagdish Joshi
- Naveen Joshi
- Dr.Yogendra Prasad Joshi 'Nawal'
- Navin Joshi 'Navendu'
- Hayat Singh Rawat
- Mahendra Matiyani
- Jugal Kishor Petshali
- Charu Chandra Pandey
- Balam Singh Janouti
- Kailash Chandra Lohani
- Gopal Dutt Bhatt
- Parvati Upreti
- Mohammal Ali Ajnabi
- Devki Parvtiya
- Veena Pani Joshi
- Ghananand Pandey
- Mohan Ram Tamta 'Mohan Kumaouni'
- M.D. Andola
- Deepak Karki
- Anil Bhoj
- Uday Kiroula
- Narayal Singh Bisht
- Sher Singh Mehra 'Kumaoni'
- Shemual Madho Singh
- Surender Singh Bisht (newal) (Jhargow)
- Karam Singh Bhandari
- Shankar Jiwal IPS - 1990 TN Batch
- Ramesh Nagarkoti
- devki mahara
- jagdish chandra joshi
- heera sing rana
- dr.mahendra mahara'madhu"
Kumaoni in Media
- 'Megha Aa', (First Kumaoni Film). Director Kaka Sharma, Produced S S Bisht, 1987
- 'Teri Saun', (First film both in Kumaoni and Garhwali), written, produced, and directed by Anuj Joshi, 2003.
- 'Aapun Biraan' (Apne Paraye) by Shri Kartikey Cine Productions. Written by Rajendra Bora (Tribhuvan Giri). Produced by Bhaskar Singh Rawat. 2007.
- 'Madhuli' by Anamika Film, 2008.
Kumaoni theatre which developed through its 'Ramleela' plays, later evolved into a modern theatre form with the efforts of theatre stalwarts like Mohan Upreti and Dinesh Pandey, and groups like 'Parvatiya Kala Kendra' (started by Mohan Upreti) and 'Parvatiya Lok Kala Manch'. "Ankhar" of Lucknow did a very good work in the field of kumaoni theater. Ankhar played a number of kumauni plays like "mee yo gayun, mee yo satkyun" writer Nand Kumar Upreti, "Punturi" by Charu Chandra Pandey, "Motor Road" by Govind Ballabh Pant, "Labh Ribhadi" writer Nand Kumar Upreti, "Kagare Aag' by Himanshu Joshi, Kumauni translation Naveeen Joshi etc.
Kumaoni folk music had its root in the lap of nature. The pure and blessed music have the feel and the touch of nature and subjects related to nature. The folk music primarily is related to the various festivals, religious traditions, folk stories and simple life of the people of Kumaon. Thus the songs of Kumaoni are a true reflection of the Cultural Heritage and the way people lives their lives in the Himalayas.
There are many kinds of folk songs from the area, including ceremonial mandals, martial panwaras and melancholy khuded, thadya and jhoda.
Musical instruments used in Kumaon music include the dhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and masakbhaja. Tabla and harmonium are also used, but to a lesser extent.
The Music and its development have seen various phases of growth and have undergone lots of transformation during the course of time.
The earliest of the singers who left never ending impressions on the folk music of Kumaon were:
- The most famous personality associated with Kumaoni Folk Music is Mohan Upreti, who is known for his Nanda Devi Jagar & Rajula Malu Shahi Ballad. He is famous for the great Kumaoni song Bedu Pako Baro Masa which for many years the identity of the hills of Uttarakahand. It is said this song was also a favourite of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who heard it in a band march as this song is also apopular marching song.
- Shri Gopal Babu Goswami who is considered to be a legend in Kumaon for his melodious voice. His songs on the life of the members of the armed forces and their families like Kaile baje muruli, Ghughuti na basa (Hirda cassettes) and many others are legendary, it is said that when these songs were transmitted on All India Radio women could not help but weep when they heard the soul touching voice of Gopal Da as he was lovingly called.
- Heera Singh Rana is identified as a singer and asocial activist whose songs tell the tale of the pain of the people of the hills.
Some of the hit songs / albums being Fauji Lalit Mohan Joshi's "Maya Ki Yaad", "Tak Taka Kamla" and many other hit albums / songs are very good.
- In 1962, a new programme was introduced from Akashwani Lucknow- "Utterayana". this programme was specially for the Chinese border area. Jay dev sharma "kamal" Banshidhar Pathak Jigyasu and Jeet Singh Jardhari started this programe. Najeebabad Akashwani kendra relayed this programme .
- With the aim to create a common platform for local communities of Supi in Uttarakhand, TERI launched 'Kumaon vani', a community radio service on 11 March 2010. Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva inaugurated the community radio station, the first in the state. The 'Kumaon Vani' aims to air programmes on environment, agriculture, culture, weather and education in the local language and with the active participation of the communities. The radio station covers a radius of 10 km reaching out to almost 2000 locals around Mukhteshwar
- In order to create a folk genome tank of Uttarakhand where one can find each genre and occasions in the form of folk music, and to bring the melodious folk from the heart of Himalaya on global screen, the very first internet radio of Kumaon/Garhwal/Jaunsar was launched in year 2008 by a group of non resident Uttarakhandi from New York, which has been gaining significant popularity among inhabitants and migrants since its beta version was launched in year 2010. This was named after a very famous melody of hills of Himalaya, Bedupako Baramasa O Narain Kafal Pako Chaita Bedupako
- Upreti, Ganga Dutt (1894). Proverbs & folklore of Kumaun and Garhwal. Lodiana Mission Press.
- Devidatta Sarma; Linguistic geography of Kumaun Himalayas: A descriptive areal distribution of Kumauni language (Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan languages). Mittal Publications; 1994. ISBN 81-7099-529-9.
- Devidatta Sarma; The formation of Kumauni language (SILL : series in Indian languages and linguistics). Bahri Publications; 1985. ISBN 81-7034-005-5.
- Taran- Sampadak Balam Singh Janouti
- Byan Tar-Sampadak Anil Bhoj & Deepak Karki
- Aankhar- Sampadak Banshidhar Pathak 'Jigyashu'
- Dudboli-Sampadak Mathura Datt Mathpal
- Sisoun by Banshidhar Pathak 'Jigyashu'
- Ukav-Hular by Dr.Ramesh Chandra Shah
- Kudrat-Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah (1969) by Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Pakhan-Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah (1994) by Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Gadyanjali-First Kumaoni Gadya Sangrah (1999) by Damodar Joshi'Dewanshu'
- Shikhar-Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah (2002) by Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Anwar-First Kumaoni Kahani Sangrah (2004) by Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Aapani Panyar-First Kumaoni Natak Sangrah (2006) by Damodar Joshi 'Dewanshu'
- Kumauni bhasha aur sahitya ka udbhav evam vikas by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- kumaun Himalaya ki boliyo ka sarveksan by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- Bharat Mata(Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah)by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- Ija (Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah) by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- Uchain (Kumaoni Kavita Sangrah) by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- Mankhi (Kumaoni Nibandh Sangrah) by Dr. Sher Singh Bisht
- Kachuvain by M.D.Andola
- Manyadar by Late Bahadur Bora 'Shribandhu'
- Dhartik Kakhin by M.D.Andola
- Pachhyan by Dr. Diva Bhatt & Bahadur Bora 'Sribandhu'
- Kumaoni-Hindi Lokokti evan Muhavara Kosh by Dr. Deepa Kandpal
- Baanj Gharak Pahru, Raaf, Kasak by Dr.Dev Singh Pokharia
- Kweer kumaoni Gadya Sangrah by Hayat Singh Rawat
- Dhad by Hayat Singh Rawat
- Burunsh — Kumaoni Kavya Sangrah
- Jangdi Ujyay — Kumaoni Kavya Sangrah
- Mansup Kumaoni Kavya Sangrah by Deepak Karki
- Kumaoni Shrimad Bhagvat Geeta by Dr. Yogendra Joshi 'Nawal'
- Teen Thoon- Kumaoni Kahani Sangrah by Dr. Yogendra Joshi 'Nawal'
- Kumauni Kavitayen by Navin Joshi 'Navendu'