Komal Kothari

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Komal Kothari was an Indian folk artist and classical singer.[1][2]


Kothari's research resulted in his development of the study of a number of areas of folklore. In particular, he made contributions to the study of musical instruments, oral traditions and puppetry.[3]

He was also a patron of Langa and Manganiyar folk music, the latter of which translates to 'beggars' and is currently used as a debasing term for Merasi.[4][citation needed] He was the first to record them and helped shem out of their traditional regions.[5] To this end, he also founded the magazine 'Prerna'.

Kothari founded the Rupayan Sansthan with Vijaydan Detha at Borunda village in Rajasthan, an institute that documents Rajasthani folk-lore, arts and music, and spent most of his career at the Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Academy. He died from cancer in April 2004.

Awards and honours[edit]

Padam shree

Padam bushan

Rajasthan ratan award 2012


A 1979 documentary film on his ethnomusicology work, and another titled Komal Da, on his life and works, are now archived at Columbia University Libraries.[3]


  • Monograph on Langas: a folk musician caste of Rajasthan. 1960.
  • Folk musical instruments of Rajasthan: a folio. Rajasthan Institute of Folklore, 1977.
  • Gods of the Byways. Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. 1982. ISBN 0-905836-28-6.
  • Rajasthan: The Living Traditions,Prakash Book Depot. 2000. ISBN 81-7234-031-1.
  • Life and works of Padma Bhushan Shri Komal Kothari (1929-2004), by Komal Kothari, National Folklore Support Centre, NFSC. 2004.
  • Bards, ballads and boundaries: an ethnographic atlas of music traditions in West Rajasthan, by Daniel Neuman, Shubha Chaudhuri, Komal Kothari. Seagull, 2007. ISBN 1-905422-07-5.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rajasthan: An Oral History — Conversations with Komal Kothari, by Rustom Bharucha. Penguin India. 2003. ISBN 0-14-302959-2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2000 Prince Claus Award Accessed 1 June 2006
  2. ^ "Komal Kothari – The Folk Musician". Press Information Bureau Government of India. 22 April 2004.
  3. ^ a b Remembering Komal Korthari Columbia University, Accessed 1 June 2006
  4. ^ Stephen Huyler, 25 September 2016
  5. ^ The magical music of Manganiyars goes global Good news India, Accessed 1 June 2006

External links[edit]