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Scholarly Article

Neeraj Sharma

An Introspection on the Folklore of Bharmani: The Patron Goddess of the Gaddi Tribe

Gaddi, folklore, coexistence, compromise


This paper is an introspection on the folklore of Bharmani, the patron goddess of the Gaddi tribe. The article throws light on the nature of dichotomy of faith and belief of this tribe. The article is about the local deity Bharmani and her strife with Shiva, the trident bearer. Thus giving way to an entirely new dynamics of folklore where through compromise two different faiths flourished. The tales apart from being political and subversive suggest an alternative way to coexist in harmony. The present Manimahesh Yatra of Bharmour, Chamba suggest a synthesis of two opposing myths. It also offers a prolific example of a settlement and understanding. The article also brings to light the need to visit and question such existences of confluences. This is also an effort to study an otherwise religious debate from an academic perspective. The Gaddi folkloristic space is dynamic and has scopes of multiple readings.

About the Author

Neeraj Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. His area of interest is folklore and cultural studies. He is also interested in the digitization and archiving of folklore. His M.Phil. was from Panjab University Chandigarh. Throughout his research career he has worked on Gaddi folk narratives. He was also a part of the Sahitya Academy Project on Gaddi tribe that focused on the women’s oral narratives. He is working on his doctoral thesis which is a study of the oral folk narrative of Sabeen of the Gaddi tribe. He may be contacted at

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