".. Rushed ... to the top of the village to watch the Krishna Salitra, a dance done by men who dress as women. It is done for the god Sarasoti and is the story of Krishna from the Mahabatra. Starts with a 'jewba lava' to protect the dancers from the evil eye. Two "women" - 'marooni', and the man as 'bichibar'. All wear skirts, but the women dress in saris, 'tigisa', veils etc. and wear bells round the ankles. A mixture of Gurung dress and Indian. There are three drummers. The drums are wrapped in cloth too, and one tiny cymbal player. We entered the courtyard through an arch of flowers - rhododendrons. There were three chairs with covers on seats and a table for us. The stage was set up like last night with rugs around.

They started dancing after a short practice session. The first dance is called 'Kali' - much circling of men and "women" in a line, in pairs. At times the drummers dance alone, at other times, the group. The guru aba is there leading the singers - aged 82 years.

The dance ended with the 'si kaba' dance, similar to the Garda Sheva. Then they insisted we ate - fried eggs and tea. Took a photograph of one of the dancers who had put off his return to Calcutta until tomorrow, so he could dance for us. Said he'd not danced it for thirteen years, yet he did it perfectly, remembering all the words. Were told that this dance was written by a man in Ghanpokhara some eighty years ago, a Suba called Narjung Gurung. It came via Bhujung to Yangjakot sixty years ago."

Video sequence:

'Krishna Salitra': Waiting to dance - stage outside a house

Three men dancing, two dressed as women, one in skirt and turban

Fourth man joins - to practice

Dancing with drummers and the fourth man now dressed in skirt

Drummers dancing alone

Four men dancing with drummers


End of the dance with the collection plates

Balasing and Durga having rice 'tika' put on their foreheads

Lobin watching dancers

Yangjakot, 25th February 1990