Benefitting country(ies): Bangladesh
The Bauls are minstrels who travel from village to village, earning their living by singing. Their music, poetry and way of life have profoundly influenced Bengali culture. Bauls do not identify themselves with any organized religion nor with the caste system. They emphasize the importance of the human body as the place where God resides.
While Bauls are scattered all over the country as well as in west Bengal (India), the project concentrates on the Baul community from the Kushtia region where a great Baul Guru of Bengal, Lalon Shah, lived and created a tradition of intergenerational transmission of Baul songs. The project aims at ensuring the proper transmission of Baul songs through a series of workshops bringing together gurus and young Baul apprentices. Gurus, experts and scholars will study and evaluate the transmission process with a view to extend it to other regions with Baul communities. In parallel, a census of Bauls all over the country will be made to establish a register of minstrels and gurus. Meanwhile, documentation will be gathered leading to the publication of notations and recordings of Baul songs. A book on Baul songs for promotional purposes and the organization of Baul Melas (fairs) will raise awareness among the general public of the Baul heritage and of the importance of supporting its bearers.