By Tapan Thakur, India’s most prestigious national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yoruba has a rich history of fairy tales.
The Yorubas, or Yoruba, are one of the few indigenous people of the region and their traditional stories of magic, fairies and witches have been passed down for generations.
They are also one of India’s oldest peoples and a people with a deep reverence for nature and nature culture, which they have cultivated and developed over centuries.
“The Yoroas have a long and rich history,” says Nandan Choudhary, chairperson of the department of anthropology at the Yorubs College of Natural Science in Kolkata.
In Yorunda, the ancient Yoroa village where the fairy tales are told, Choudtary says fairy tales and magic have been taught for centuries and the village has become a popular tourist attraction.
Yorunda’s traditional Yoroamish culture includes a village-wide festival known as the festival of the Yoroabees in which they sing and dance to music and dance in a traditional way.
But despite the popularity of the festival, Chaudhary says there is no official festival for the Yorubas.
While there are many fairy tales in Yoruda, it is not one of them that attracts the interest of tourists.
Chaudharies wife and daughter, Jana and Yoni, also work at the university.
A recent visit to the Yoruba village brought them home to a different kind of fairy tale.
“We were shocked to see a big stone with two little girls who were dancing and laughing,” says Jana, a senior lecturer in anthropology at Yoribayon College.
As we watched them, we realised that the festival was about to start.
At the time, we did not know about the tradition of the Yoruda people, and we didn’t realise that we were living in a village.
It was a shock for us that we live in such a traditional village and not in a tourist-heavy area like a resort.
We were also surprised to see that this is not an isolated event and that the villagers do it regularly.
Jana and her husband, Yoni Choudry, are part of a group of students who plan to head to the Yori village on May 11 to learn about Yoroafo, the Yoraabees tradition of singing fairy tales, which dates back to the early 1800s.
With the arrival of the tourists, it seems the YORUBA are on the verge of becoming an international tourist attraction, but there is one big problem with that.
The YORUBAS do not have a traditional festival.
Choudhar says that, in spite of the presence of tourists, they do not celebrate the festival.
So, they are going to the same place, but the festival will not take place.
I want to tell my people about the Yoruuba tradition.
What will happen to the festival?
They have to find a way to celebrate their tradition, which is not possible in an isolated area like this, he says.
Choudharies team plans to travel to the village to study the tradition and to gather information about the village.
The festival will be one of many that Choudchary will visit over the next year.
To get the story out there, he has started an online journal called Yorouba.
What are your fairy tales?
Have you heard of Yoroana?
Share them in the comments section below.
Read more about YORUDA from India’s National Parks and Wildlife Management Agency