The urban sprawl of Kathmandu contains layers upon layers of songs, narratives, and identities. The abundant festivals of the valley are palimpsests that record the cultural complexity of the Indigenous Newa peoples. The week-long celebration of Yenyā (Indra Jatra) is vibrant with performances, processions, and rituals that open a portal to the sinuous infuences of the past on the present.
When Tamrakar began researching Yenyā in 2018, she initially listed the various events taking place on each day of the festival; certain elements bear witness to changes adopted in diferent time periods, refecting the fuid nature of culture. This grew into a larger engagement with heritage activists and local communities to document, study, and analyse the intricacies of each custom.
Tamrakar and her team in Baakhan Nyane Waa adopt methodologies such as mapping and oral storytelling in their ongoing research process. The images, maps, and videos of Yenyā provide an intimate glimpse into the preparation and commitment required to stage and preserve Kathmandu’s unique, intangible heritage.
Commissioned for Kathmandu Triennale 2077. The artist's participation is made possible with support from the Saraf Foundation Grant,
Artist’s acknowledgements: Romush Tuladhar (illustrator and collaborator); the Baakhan Nyane Wā team; Yenyā series storytellers Dee Pyakhan Guthi, Pulukisi Guthi, Shree Laakhe Aaju Guthi, Aajudya Guthi, and Shree Ashok Binayak Guthi; Alok Siddhi Tuladhar, Aswain Bir Singh Tamrakar, Kalpana Tuladhar, Mahendra Man Tuladhar Aswain Bir Singh Tamrakar, Kalpana Tuladhar, Mahendra Man Tuladhar, Shailesh Rajbhandari, Sandesh Munikar, and Monalisa Maharjan; and representatives of all events and elements of the Yenyā festival and mapping project.