COURSE OBJECTIVE :To understand the process of ethnography on fieldTo experience the challenges and understand the process of getting access for in-depth culturalresearchTo enhance communication skills in order to get correct data and insightsDURATION:Theoretical inputs:24 August 2012 - 28 August 2012On-field research4 September 2012 – 8 September 2012PLACE:Bhuj, Kutchh District, Gujarat
1 Brainstorming and researching about the villages in and around Bhuj (Kuchh)2 Visiting various villages to understand the scope of study3 Mapping the communities of a region.4 Dhrovana was finalized on the basis of easy access, interesting location and presence of two major religious communities living in the same region.
BUS STANDA large public transit point wherepeople (from in and around Bhuj,nearby areas, inter city/ statetravellers) convene temporarily forthe purpose of finding and waiting fortheir respective buses to travel totheir destinations.OBJECTIVE:To observe the different peoplepassing by at the bus stopTo identify a group and the placethey belong toTo find a bus going to that area orvillage to conduct our study
OBSERVATIONS GROUP 1:A group of women: One old womanwith thick glasses, One middle aged,One young girl in bright red, and onelittle girl.All wearing very colourful, heavy,thick, clothing embellished with zigzag lace, gota kinari and sequins.Long frock/a- line kurta (stitched insuch a way that it gave the impressionof a two piece skirt with blouse) pairedwith loose salwars and dupattas withbold big floral prints covering theirheads.All women (except the one in red)wore big heavy metal earrings andflat round studs(dia 2-3cm), nose studsof slightly smaller diameter,glass/metal bangles, heavy biganklets. The woman in red was
dressed different and special. The top was heavily and intricately embroidered, wore anelaborate neckpiece, a heavy nose ring, numerous bangles and heavy anklets.An old woman in a shabby printed salwar kameez came to them asking for money. This couldhave been an indication of them being from a well to do background.We tried to carry out a conversation with them. They seemed hesitant and suspicious. Also didnot understand hindi/gujrati. They said they belonged to an area called Khavda (80 kms and2hrs from Bhuj on further research). They did not let us take any pictures of them. We also foundout that the woman in red was newly married. After our conversation they followed ourmovements around the bus stop looked at us suspiciously.The women were accompanied by 2 men but they were not sitting with the women. They camelater at the time of boarding the bus. The men wore pathan suits of all black and carried bluestoles with bright and big floral prints on their shoulders.
OBSERVATIONS GROUP2:Women in black long flowy skirts and coloured dupattas and cholis. Heavily adorned,embroidered attire. Backless colourful blouses. Gold jewelry. One of them carrying a black andwhite big women’s leather handbag.OBSERVATIONS GROUP 3:A young man with slightly older woman and a small child. Man wearing pathan suit, dark brownheavy leather shoes. A silver coloured watch on his left wrist. Woman in bright red salwar kurtawith green and yellow flowers, embellised with lace, a black dupatta with redand green floral print. Big nose and ear gold colored studs. Little boy in green kurt and blue pyjamas,blue chappals, kohl eyes. Took off his footwear, sat with a packet of snacks.Group 1 seemed the most interesting. We noticed other groups dressed similar to them. Wedecided to take the bus to Khavda.
KHAVDAA city situated 80kms from Bhuj and80kms from the India-Pakistan border.The bus dropped us at the mainchowk which had a few shops andwhere local transportation had to betaken to go to the villages situatedaround.OBJECTIVE:Talk to shopkeepers and shoppers tofind out about the nearby villages.To find local transportation to go to aparticular village.
OBSERVATIONS: A small city- tehseel A lot of army vehicles were spotted Central point to catch buses (private/government) to Bhuj Very few private vehicles were spotted. A few tourist shops selling Kutch embroidery goods Small tea shops, 2 eateries, one fruit seller A busy mobile store. A fork was there at the main chowk. One road led towards the villages, fields and the border. The other one led to the main market. Only men and young boys were spotted (black/blue pathan suits) with floral print stoles. No women or girls were seen in the city/market place. Local transportation: Toofans (Tata cars), Chhakra was available for locals visiting Khavda. It’s a cart with a motorcycle front and can accommodate large number of people (17-18) even though it is meant for 7. Charged Rs. 10 per person for us (suspicion : the locals were charged less)
MOTA DINARAABOUT THE VILLAGE Is 700 year old village 85 kilometer away from the Bhuj and 5 kilometer away from Khavda Muslim and Harijan community stay in the village Cattle rearing and farming is the main occupation There are 800 household in the village.OBJECTIVES : To understand scope of ethnography research in the area To get access to study culture of the village
IN DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH GANNI(VILLAGE SARPANCH) ANDOBSERVATIONS
FACILITIES: There were no shops to buy daily necessities. Villagers go to Khavda for buying basic things There were no individual tap of water provided for household, all people were depending on the hand pump which is provided by government. Electric facility was provided in the year of 1986. Cow, buffalo, goat, horse and camel , these animal were own by the villagers. Camel and hours are mainly own for selling in the market. There was no bank in the village and very less awareness about bank There was one government hospital called Prathmik Aaroghya BSNL are providing Mobile connectivity service Almost half of the population of the village own mobile phones
OCCUPATION: Villagers depended on dry farming so men of the house stay out for 2 – 3 months for earning Selling Milk was other occupation of the village. There was one milk center in the village where people collected their milk and sold in the cityFOOD: Bajra ka rotala ,daal ,rice, khichadi is the every day food of the village
ATTIRE OF PEOPLE: Women wear Kanjra and men wear Pathani. Women make Kanjra for themselves before marriage Nowadays some women have started to wear Pathani ( Punjabi ) Women wears heavy jewelry There is no change in the attire before and after marriage in the Muslim community
STATUS OF WOMEN: Women stay in the house and do daily household work Taking photographs of women after certain age is not allowed
EDUCATION: There was one Madarasa till 8th standard after that students go to Khavda to study After 8th standard girls are not allowed to study further After 8th standard, boys from the village go to Maharashtra, Ahmedabad, Baruch for their further study (Vocational study, hand skill based study, agricultural study )
RELIGION: Majority of population in the village is of the Muslim community.SOCIAL INTERACTION: Every day men of the village met outside of the Masjid after Maghrib. Women met at Friday on Eid prayer in Masjid. Most of the marriages are happened within village
GANDHINUGAAMABOUT THE VILLAGE Is 100 year old village situated 10 kilometer away from Khavda Muslim and Harijan community stay in the village There are 150 household in the village Over 200 families reside in the villageOBJECTIVES : To understand scope of ethnography research in the area To get access to study culture of the village
RELIGION: Majority of population is Hindu in the village Harijan and Marwadi is the major community in the village Very less number of people are MuslimsSOCIAL INTERACTION: Muslim community live separate because of less space in the village Marriages never happen within villages First people feel shy to speak but after some time they speak freely People allow to take photograph
FACILITIES: For Daily need they have to go to Khavda There were 7-8 bikes in the village There was a underground water tank for drinking water. House in the villages quite well and big
ATTIRE: Women wore odhani, kanjari, ghagara, chuda Men wore white pathani, black leather shoes, Gamcha. New generation wore shirt pants.
OCCUPATION: Main occupation of the people is wood carving Sofa set, stool, stray are the main products Women do handwork called Gurjari Also Embroidery / patchwork on cloths is another source of income Sale of craft work happen from house Sometime women go out for exhibitions
STATUS OF WOMEN: Men in the house take all the decisions Women/girls don’t go to school after 4th standard
EDUCATION: There was a primary school in the village after that need to go to Khawda for further study From the age of 7-8 girls in the house start to learn craft work
PLACE: Dhrovana, Khavada District, KutchACCESS:We got access to the village through a school teacher in Bhuj travelling with us in the bus. Hehelped us get in touch with a man called Abdul Sattar who works for an NGO in that region. Abdulintroduced us to the villagers, the school teacher of Dhrovana and a Harijan family in that village.He helped us communicate with the villagers to explain our presence and agenda, to gain accessan a villager’s (Kanha) house and make arrangements for our stay.OBJECTIVE : Getting access Familiarize ourselves to the location and people Explaining the scope of project to the informant Making arrangements for stay Understanding the research constraints in that areaINFORMANT : Kanha and Sattar Bhai
WHY WE CHOSEDROVANA? Interesting location : one of the last villages to India- Pakistan border Presence of both Hindu and Muslim community A high security region We had got access to the village We could make arrangements to stay
OBJECTIVE:Conducting detailed observation research over 24 hours.OVERVIEW:We took an early morning bus to the village and met Kanha and his familyBefore that we wandered around to explore the villageOur 24-hr cycle started at 11:32 amFrom there on we allocated areas of observation and started recordingData Collection in the form of transcriptions, audio and video recordings and sketchesWe stayed with Kanha and his family till 11:30 am the next morning
KANHAKanha is a musician who playsflute. He is the elder son of thefamily in which we stayed. Hewas wearing a cricket outfit forboth the days, owns a bikeand smoke bedi. He is lookingforward for a city exposure forperforming and has done afew too.
HINDU HARIJAN WOMEN Lehenga and long kurta, with dupatta Kurta (long top) was different for married and unmarried women Hand made clothers Lots of hand embroidery on clother Vibrant colors, and big floral prints Synthetic fabrics mostly Bangles - glass and plastic White bangles for the upper arm Jewellery - Local names Kadi - Anklet Sasri - Nose ring Siri - Flat and round nose ring Thodiya - Earrings Vindo - Nose ring for the bride
HINDU HARIJAN WOMEN - MARRIED Married women wore backless top with lehengas (long skirt) and a dupatta (wide stoll) The backless long top - called Kanjri Heavily ornamented and embroidered Made by the bride herself before her marriage, and brought to her new house as part of her dowry The skirt (lehengas) - either plain or printed, synthetic fabrics, with heavily embroidered or gota borders The dupatta was not a regular rectangle shape, but a rectangle with a square piece attached for covering the head Covering of head is mandatory, especially in presence of other men
HINDU HARIJAN WOMEN - UNMARRIED Hindu Harijan - unmarried woman Wore a stitched long top over the lehenga Dupatta worn only when going out Covering the head not mandatory Lots of bangles - glass and plastic
MUSLIM MAALDARI WOMEN Two piece stitched clothing - like salwar and kurta, common for all age groups Extra piece of cloth for covering the head Very little embroidery on clothes More earthy colors, and less bold prints The top/ kurta (called frack) was stitched in a way that it looked like two pieces - lehenga and choli All hand stitched clothes Very less jewellery Only one bangle in each hand Ankle bands in legs No toe rings Head covered all the time, irrespective of age or marital status Chain in neck- golden color
MENHINDU HARIJAN Wore regular pants and t-shirts T-shirts looked old and worn out Cricket jerseys common No specific color pattern visibleMUSLIM MAALDAARI Kurta and pyjama (pathan suit) Carried an scarf - printed - bold floral prints Blue a common color in their clothing
100 Hindu houses, 500 muslim houses Multiple structures in a compound Separate room for each couple Kitchen (2 windows, a cut out in the roof for the smoke to escape, a drain in the corner), mud chulha Verandah Washing area outside ToiletHINDUS Pakka(concrete) Wall art – Hindus Colours: Blue, green, yellow, red Motifs: peacocks, flowers, horses, plants, girlsMUSLIMSThatched huts, Bungas(round mud houses)+ concrete
BELONGINGS: Sewing machine Television Stereo Furniture: 2 woven cot, Chair Utensils Water pots stacked upside down on one wall Godri (hand made fabric filled quilt/bed cover) Framed photographs on walls First aid kit Mounted and laminated pictures of gods Ceiling fans Big storage boxes Table 1 Goat
The village has 4 schools One basic healthcare facility in one of the school’s complex School is up to 7th standard only IT teaching facility with 3-4 computers also available in the school Language of teaching – Gujarati or Kutchhi English and Hindi sparingly taught Hindu Harijan kids more regular for school Lesser number of girls in higher classes
School facilities for childrenof both religions andcommunities.Medium: gujratiDifference in the sittingpattern: kids of acommunity tended to sittogetherMore number of Harijanthan Maldari studentsMale and female teachers
SOURCES OF INCOME :The men of the household werebuilders and masonsHarijan women did bead work forthemselves but also to sell outside.One part of the house was givenout on rent to a female teacher
ENTERTAINMENT: Men gathered at the top of the hill in the evening to talk Television Inter village/ community cricket matches Singing/Playing musical instruments Listening to radio/songs on phone Gathering in the temple Embroidery/bead work Visiting neighbors Smoking
11: 48 am - Milking the goat in the evening 12: 10 pm - Bathing and dressing the little girl 12: 30 pm - Watching Television (Is pyar ko main kya naam du) 2: 00 pm - Taking a nap 2: 30 pm - Making Tea 3: 30pm - Collecting milk 3:45 pm - Embroidery 4:30 pm - Cutting firewood 5:30 pm - Cooking dinner 7:45 pm – Serving dinner 8:15 pm – Eating dinner 8:30 pm - Washing the vessels 8:45pm - Watching television 9:30 pm - Sleeping after the day gets over 6:00am - Getting up in the morning 6:30 pm - Cleaning the house 7:30 am - Cook breakfast
21 godris for dowry Daughter in law kept away from strangers, keeps her head covered at all times Hindu men gather in the evening (7 pm) at the family temple (Main deity: Shri Ramdev Maharaj) with different instruments(manjira, ghanti, dhol. ektara) to sing bhajans. No women were part of this ritual ( some women had come to visit earlier in the evening) Muslims dont work during Ramadan and rains Hindu Men don’t go to Muslim households, only for weddings (only close friends, for boy’s wedding)
Milk is sold at Rs. 25/L A Himalaya bottle was noticed in multiple households Onion is called Dungri Amma has asthma: 12 puffs from the inhaler Muslim women came to Amma for treatment of their kids: undernourished, massages, disabled Rudra dam area: Dhrovana Hindu settlements after earthquake Water is fetched from Khavda once a month (Rs. 400/tank- 5000L)
Women were observedshop keeping for a certaintime in the afternoon.A Gujrati educatedwoman also lives in thevillage running anindividual shop.
Head of the householdStayed in a separatestructure by himself on thesame compoundWalked over from time totime to with usWas mostly ignored by therest of the familyFood was sent to him in hishouse at meal times
Selection of location of study (availability of diverse cultures) Gaining access and trust Language Collection of data (restriction on photography and videographer) Travel (long distances and remote areas) Code of conduct (so as to not offend the people or culture) Location (the village is near the border and therefore a high security area) Amenities and facilities (getting used to their way of life) Conducting the study unobtrusively without attracting too much attention or influencing the data in any way
Ethnography and observation research can be quick with practice Noting down things is also an art One needs to be non-judgmental Everything needs to be recorded: Time, place, number of people, behavior, ambiance An important tool to understand consumer behavior Gives emotion based information Data collected should be thick and deep Notebook, camera, recorder are tools that should always be handy Data collected should be reorganized well after collection and read well several times Consolidation of data should be done thoughtfully and may take time for decisions Getting access is not that easy Language is not always a huge barrier