The origin of the Rikhiyaasan (Musahar) as a community is traced to the Tribals and probably because of a bloody conquest, they moved to the mainland of Bihar and some to Orissa. Those who settled in Bihar became landless agricultural labourers. The Musahar myths of the powerful, generous, and nature-oriented ancestors and their history reflect the soul of a culturally rich tradition. Eventually the power structures absorbed them as subordinates to sustain its structural needs. Consequently the erosion of a rich tradition and the identity has left the community internally weak and inferior. They have assimilated the new identity of a subjugated and powerless people as their own for generations.
All images from Rikhiyaasan
First published by Art and Deal, September 2011