Gaine-Singer in Nepal
A vanishing ancient tradition
The people of the Gaine Caste in Nepal were traditionally wandering through the country, singing their music in the villages. Their songs told about kings, the actual rulers and national heroes. They also sang about the news they got to know on their way through the villages, similar to the ballad-mongers in early Germany. During those times before radio, TV and newspapers and since the ordinary people were illiterate, the Gaine were a fundamental source of news for the remote villages. I met the old Gaine in April 1984 at the wall of the buddhistic temple of Bodnath in the Kathmandu valley. Luckily I had the chance to make this sound recording. In the background you can hear a holy cow mooing. Lots of people were listening, and a buddhistic pilgrim circled around the temple, turning his silver prayer wheel. The instrument of the Gaine is a self-made fiddle with 3 or 4 strings. The lower opening is covered with dried sheep-skin and the strings are made of dried sheep intestines. Sadly, this folk tradition is vanishing today.
Wolfgang Praegler & Gudrun Mirbach-Praegler