The legend behind the Goalpariya Lokgeet goes like this – once a poor Brahmin couple Jayamala and Jayanath lived on the bank of a stream that comes down through the forest of Bhutan. Once Jayanath was called to conduct the last rites of a rich Brahmin who had an ugly lazy daughter, whom apparently Jayanath had to marry and subsequently Jayamala had to live a torturous life. Jayamala would go the nearby stream to fetch water for the Brahmin couple and would cry always for her fate. Everyday again an elephant king would also come to that stream to drink water, once the elephant king asked Jayamala the reason of her sadness, she explained everything and finally the elephant king picked Jayamala with him, conferred her as their Queen, converted her to Hastir Kanya, who would then onwards lead their life, she becomes their torch bearer and the elephant king volunteered himself to be the protector. Keeping aside the supernatural ornamentation of this legend, the story has its basis in reality. The chief of a wild elephant herd is the Queen, a cow elephant. She leads the herd and the male leader remains protector always. The forests of Goalpara start at the foothills of Bhutan. These forests are also the abode of herds of elephants. The daring operations of capturing these wild elephants were handled by Mahuts.
(To know about Mahuts, do not forget to check out Blog 4: the community involved…, to be out soon!)