The UVM Gavari Archives

During the leadership of Dr. Kishore Saint, Ubeshwar Vikas Mandal (UVM), Mewar’s pioneering village-based Gandhian tribal  development group, realized  Gavari’s  unique spiritual, social and ecological virtues and started gathering the few reports, articles and studies that examined them. These fragments contain interesting and otherwise unavailable Gavari resources  including out-of-print articles, studies, village interviews and research protocols.

These documents are not presented as endorsed or even necessarily accurate insights into Gavari culture and often reflect heavily Hindu- or foreign-influenced interpretations of this ancient sacred theater.

(Parenthetically it should be noted that “Fake News” is hardly new and also plagues anthropology. Although not cited here, some Brahmin and Rajput ultras have loudly claimed for a decade or more that Gavari was really invented by their respective castes, but their brethren got too busy for the lengthy pilgrimages and hired the “leisured” Bhil tribals to perform the ritual for them. Needless to say, there is not a shred of evidence, sense or logic to these assertions, yet some continue to insist the Bhils now perform it because they didn’t respect their labour contracts and shamelessly stole the whole tradition. Seriously! There’s still that much misinformation “out there”.)

The world still awaits authentic Bhil voices describing this extraordinary marathon ritual, its true history, the indigenous values it expresses, and what it means to their lives and culture. 


Gauri – a Bhil festival by B. R. Chauhan, Bulletin of the Tribal Research Institute – Chindwara, Vol III, December, 1963

The Bhil Tradition of Gavari, Quarterly journal of the MLV Tribal Research & Training Institute, Vol 33, 2001

Gavari relevant excerpts from “A Bhil Village in Rajasthan”, anthropological Ph.D. thesis by David McCurdy, 1963

Bhil Gauri by B.R. Chauhan & D.S. Chelawat, Tribe, Vol III, 1966

“What is the Epic Theater?” by Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings: 1938-1940

Gavri entry in South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia, Peter Claus, editor, Routledge,2002

Gavari research proposal to UVM from Maxine K. Weisgrau, 1995

Extensive Gavari research interview texts & field notes by Maxine K. Weisgrau

Plight of the Doomed, Kishore Saint’s address to the Lokayan Public Intellectuals’ Forum, New Delhi, 1985