2002 - Jean-Philippe
www.jpsviewfinder.com & www.nativeplanet.org
/ Village: Pushkar
Ethnic Group: Kalbeliya /
This young Kalbeliya Gypsy dancer is dressed in full
regalia for the Pushkar Festival. Kalbeliya girls learn how to dance at
an early age; some perform as early as 9 or 10 years old.
The Kalbeliya Gypsy people are known as the snake charmer caste. The
women are skilled dancers and are accompanied by men playing percussion
and wind instruments. The Kalbeliya were once hired to entertain great
kings and maharajahs. Today they are sadly considered to be squatters
and experience much discrimination. They struggle to preserve their
culture and dances. They follow Indian fairs and festivals hoping to get
hired to perform dances in hotels and private resorts.