"Baul Singer"

Ranjith Raghupathy

Ranjith Raghupathy

Acrylic on Canvas

101.6cm x 76.2cm

2021

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The Baul or Bauls are a group of mystic minstrels or bards of mixed elements of Sufism and Sahaja from Bengal region, comprising Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Barak Valley of Assam. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava-Sahajiyas and Sufi Muslims.[1][2] They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Lalon Shah is regarded as the most celebrated Baul saint in history.[3][4][5] Although Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition of Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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