Downfall of Kashmir’s Traditional Folk Theatre (Band Pathar)


Bhand Pather is the traditional folk theatre of the Kashmir valley. The word Bhand stands for a jester while Pather means a performance or theatre. The Bhands are still extant, though the popularity of their entertainment is waning, like almost every other traditional folk art form in the country.

A community of folk theatre artistes, the Bhands, travel from village to village in colourful outfits carrying the dhol, nagara and the sornai (a wooden flute). Their skits use lampoons, music and dance, to bring up problematic issues in politics, society and in religion.

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