In Nepal, the Damai are a social group of musicians and tailors. They settled in this country in the 14th century, fleeing the Muslim invasions of northern India. Their traditional orchestral ensemble is called panchai baja; it is now found only in the smaller towns and rural areas of Nepal. Damai traditional music is sought for its good auspices at major family events.
In the big cities of the Kathmandu Valley, being modern means that the Damai are giving up the panchai baja bands and creating or joining brass bands based on those of the former colonial army of British India. This is a way for them to integrate into a society that still too often considers them untouchable.
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