To conduct micro and in-depth research on different dimensions of folk society, to teach about folk culture, to collect and preserve the important cultural elements, (belonging to both folk literature and material culture) thirty minor research projects are initiated. Each district will get one project so that there will be a study of grass root information. Through written texts followed by interviews, thirty Doctoral Degree holders are selected for this project. They were given the option to select their topic with the advice of their research supervisors, and so as to cover different aspects of Folk literature, Folk arts, Folkloristics, the Folk-Cultural Centres, Centres of religious cults, etc. It also covers the information about the local knowledge systems. The researchers are instructed to submit their project by the end of one year so that there are possibilities of publication of 30 valuable books by the end of this academic year.
The topics under study as follows:
Study of Artisans
Traditional Irrigation Methods
Percussion Instruments: Manufacture and Usage
Folk Beverages and Food
Folk Medicinal Practices
Legends on Professional/Occupational Lore
Art and Relationship of People of Border areas of Karnataka
Agriculture-related Occupational Lore
Kuruba Community Rituals
Folklore of Occupational Communities: a case study of Hassan District
Karnataka Folklore studies have advanced from the stage of the mere collection to the level of serious analysis in a proper theoretical framework. This has to lead to the derivations of specific definitions to technical terms which are very essential for folklore research. Many folk performers may not grasp the fact that the same words may have different meanings in different contexts or in different places. This makes them think about regional knowledge and thus native knowledge and native knowledge systems will be highlighted about their usefulness. A dictionary describing the meaning of such words will help the common folk also to understand the culture of their neighbourhood. Therefore a user-friendly Kannada Folklore Dictionary is planned to be published by our University. This is different from that one planned by Karnataka Janapada Academy. This dictionary is not just a book of the meaning of words. It is more of an encyclopaedia unveiling the knowledge treasure of our land. This university is expecting generous grants from the Department of Kannada and Culture for the implementation of this project.
A complete multifacial documentation is very much essential to get an overall picture of Folk-world and to get comprehensive knowledge about traditional practices. The jurisdiction of Karnataka Folklore University is spread to the whole of Karnataka State and therefore the knowledge sources from heavy rainfall region, the plain land and of coastal Karnataka, being different, all this needs to be documented to understand the native folk technologies. As an experiment, the Folklore survey of Haveri District and multifacial documentation of Folk traditional knowledge system is taken up in the beginning. Karnataka Knowledge Commission has accepted this proposal and agreed to provide the necessary grants for this project. About 14 field assistants are visiting 705 villages of this district and are collecting the required information about the traditional practices, knowledge systems and also of artists and their art forms. A detailed report about Haveri District will be prepared, which will provide the information about native knowledge systems. The university intends to extend this project to other districts also at a later stage.
Karnataka Folklore University is very much eager to publish an encyclopaedia on South Indian native agricultural knowledge systems and through this, it wants to pass on the required information about our knowledge systems to the next generation in view of preserving and conserving our native agricultural knowledge and practice. This project is planned in such a way, that it will lead to an encyclopedia comprising of the publication of one thousand pages, which will include the information from all four Southern States - Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The final product will be in two volumes.
A team of learned senior scholars of Karnataka have been nominated to the Editorial Board for this Encyclopaedia. This University initiated the work with its available fund initially and now Krushi Mission of Govt. of Karnataka and Amrutha Bhumi Project have assured grants for continuing this work. The two volumes certainly will function as useful Hand Book / Guide to the farmers and to those who are working in this field.
Karnataka is a land of rich folklore and knowledge particularly folk epics. The folk arts, rituals, agricultural practices, traditional knowledge systems, native technology, cultural or religious centres all have their own specific importance. Many folk epics have been composed based on the life of cultural heroes. There are folk epics which can be equated with classics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Many such epics are passed on from one generation to the next through oral transmission only. Many academies, Institutions and Universities have effectively done the work of documentation of many such narrative performances. Many of them have been published in the book form as well. Now, there is a need to translate them into English and other Indian languages. With this greater objective, this university has started a 'Centre for Translation'. There are plans to translate Halumatha Kaavya, Gondara Ramayana, Gaadri Palanayaka, Mylaralinga, Mahalingaraya, Syasu Chinnamma, Gamokkala Mahabharata etc., into English. As a first step, Manteswamy epic collected and edited by Prof. Ambalike Hiriyanna is under the process of being translated into English. This will be published in collaboration with Kannada Bhasha Bharathi, the authority for translation. There are future plans to translate important folk literature from Kannada to other South Indian languages as well.
Janapada Varsha: 2011
Janapada Vishwavidyalaya Newsletter “Hanate”
Janapada Vishwavidyalaya Research Journal “Jagali” (Bi annual)