Community: Bhopa Bhopi
Village: Moleesar Bada
Festival & Collaborations:
Bhanwari Devi comes from the Bhopa-Bhopi folk tradition, in which husband and wife team recite a poem that has been a part of the community's oral literature since centuries. The four thousand lines long poem is recounted over the course of five nights in front of a 'phad' a hand painted scroll, which serves as both an illustration of the highlights of the story of the folk hero and as a portable temple of Pabuji. The audience of the bhopa-bhopi performance is primarily made of traditionally nomadic and camel herding Rabari caste and Rajputs, the warrior caste of the region.
Bhanwari Devi traditionally sang with her husband. However, after her husband passed away 10 years ago, Devi began to sing folk songs beyond her traditional Bhopa-Bhopi repertoire to support her family of twelve with the power of her voice.
The act of a Bhopi performing without her Bhopa partner was unprecedented act in her community.
Today Bhanwari Devi - despite all odds has made a monumental mark for herself.
She has performed at several platforms like Edinburgh, Coke Studio, Jodhpur RIFF; and has shared space with several International and South Asian Artists.
What makes Bhanwari Devi distinct is the fact that she can sing as great as a pure folk traditionalists and at the same time make her music accessible and enjoyable to audiences who haven't experienced Rajasthani folk music before.