Intangible Cultural Heritage

Subhadra Arjun Gawas - The Biography of a storyteller from Goa, India


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Pournima Kerkar

Sahitya Sanskruti Abhivrudhi Manch, Meri Sattari, Goa, India

[Translated from the Marathi language by Heta Pandit, Goa Heritage Action Group]

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 6. Art.5. 2021




photo: Shubhada Chari / Memória Imaterial edition


This is the biography of a storyteller, songstress, feminist, healer, house-builder and oral archivist from a village in Goa, India. Subhadra Arjun Gawas has never had a formal education. Left to take care of her older brothers at the age of 5, she took her domestic responsibilities seriously and turned her adverse situation to advantage never giving up on her passion to sing and collect the folksongs from her village right through poverty and hardship; the trials and tribulations of life. At 71 today, Subhadra has no regrets. All she wants to do is pass on her knowledge of building skills and her repertoire of songs to the next generation in order to preserve this rich oral history for posterity.



Keywords: storyteller, healer, archivist, Goa, India