Karaks- Oral Tradition of Jammu Region: An Overview

Neha Sharma


This paper throws light on an aspect of oral tradition of the region i.e Karaks. Karaks are the part of folk ballads of the region and are the worship songs of the folk deities sung by professional singers who are known as Jogis and Gardis with the accompaniment of Dhol (drum) and Sarangi. The present paper tries to analyze the regional folk ballads in a historical context. With rhythm, rhyme and music karaks express the conflicts and tensions inherent in the individual community relations. Karak singer while singing takes on a symbolic collective representation and constitutes himself as a judge of his karak’s central character. When he attacks and lashes out, he becomes the standard bearer of moral order. Karak verses speak passionately of rights and wrongs, obligations and virtue, morality and immorality, ideas and sentiments and thus poetize not only experiences and belief of people but also socio-cultural as well as economic and political conditions.

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