National Geographic : 2000 Sep
POSSESSED by a spirit of fun, a member of a local comedy team acts out the misfortune of an enslaved Tharu from a neighboring village. A skirt worn as a headdress and a garlic clove tooth add laughable notes to the often risque slapstick, called ragni. Until recently villagers of all ages would watch into the wee hours of morning. Today, children like Krishna (below) go to bed and rise early to attend a newly built school, the com munity's first. With classes taught in Nepali rather than the Rana Tharu dialect, parents worry that formal education will dilute their culture and drive children to seek jobs and lives in a wider world. made with their hands. All are works of art.