India : a traditional art form to get rid of the monkeys

Hindu man dressed and made up like Hanuman, the monkey-god. India.

Since centuries, indian villages and towns have been visited by untouchables street performers called “bahurupia”( like the man seen on the photo ) who dress and make up like hindu deities. And of course the favourite deity is Hanuman, the monkey-god, one of the main hindu deity. He looks so funny ! As entertainers and caretakers of the tradition, “bahurupia” are given some money, some rupees. That’s very few, Bahurupia are very poor but they keep going on because doing this is their dharma and they know nothing else.

Recently, the authorities of the Lucknow railway station ( Lucknow is the capital of the state of Uttar pradesh) decided to hire one of them to remove the many rhesus monkeys ( about 100) that were frightening (and attacking) the travellers, pulling out seat covers, stealing food. In India, monkeys are respected. They are considered as the brothers of Hanuman but they are also feared due to their agressiveness. By imitating the behaviour of a “langur”, a monkey species feared by the rhesus, the “bahurupia” has managed to frighten the rhesus. Killing them would have been inconceivable and other means already used had failed (like capturing them before releasing them in the countryside). It has to be said monkeys are a common sight in the indian towns. Because of the intense deforestation, they have lost their habitat. They now live in towns and cities where they search for food anywhere and by any mean.


About travelerreport

My blog is all about travelling and photography
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