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  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 64

    Available online at http://www.ijims.com

    ISSN: 2348 0343

    In Search of Little Tradition of Folk Islam: A Study of Marefati Folk Songs in Bengal

    :

    Soumitra Kumar Sinha Associate Professor, Dept. of History, University of Kalyani, Nadia, W.B., India

    Abstract Islamic contact with Bengal is as old as the role of the religion is significant in the historical

    development of this region. Its importance does not simply consist in the fact that the undivided

    Bengal saw the largest concentration of Muslims (about 34 millions) in the Indian Subcontinent and

    that their present aggregate in divided Bengal makes them the second largest Muslim population in

    the world after Indonesia. It is rather paradoxical that the phenomenon of Islamization in Bengal has

    drawn far less academic attention than what would seem warranted by its historical significance.

    The aim of the present paper is to investigate and explore the folk elements in the Bengali culture

    and its impact on the Bengali Muslims. While exploring folk Islam or little tradition of Islam in

    Bengal along with its syncretistic traditions I have tried to use the theory of Great Tradition and

    Little Tradition propounded by Robert Redfield while studying Mexican peasant culture, which

    later on applied by Milton Singer and Mckim Marriott to the Indian society. Since folk elements

    have multiple strands, therefore, I have confined my discussion in reviewing contribution of

    Bengali Muslims in Bengali folk songs like Sufi devotional songs Marefati and Murshidi with a

    special emphasis on Marefati.

    Keywords: Little tradition of Muslims, Marefati folk song, Islamic culture in Bengal, Composite

    element in Bengal.

    Article

    ,

    -

    (Great Tradition) (Little Tradition) ,

  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 65

    ,

    (academic)

    (largest concentration) ( )

    ,

    , (),

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  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 66

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    (corrupt Folk) (popular)

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    (exogenous) / (endogenous) ,

    (only great tradition)

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    (Folk tradition)

  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 67

    (acculturated form of non Aryan and Aryan Culture) ,

    (little tradition of Islam)

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    (Folk society) Shorter Oxford Dictionary An

    aggregation of people in relation to a superior

    Folklore

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  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 68

    knowledge)

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    common folk

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  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 69

    ) (Unrefined or Uncultured Phase)

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    (Middle Phase) (unrefined

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    (Primitive society) (refined or cultural society)

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  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 2015, Vol 2, No.8,64- 76. 71

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