Rajasthan, a present day state in northwest India, is placed under the seal of diversity, if not irreconcilable contrasts, as much on the geographic and historic level as ethnic. The strength and the richness of the popular traditions, the vitality and the oral memory of the land is the work of the castes and tribes that history has forgotten or mentions just briefly, in the course of describing a battle, the foundation of a kingdom or a bloody siege. The Gujar shepherds, the Raika camel drivers, the Kumbhar potters, and also the Bhopa, Manganiyar and Langa musicians and storytellers, all for whom the traditional duty was to serve and amuse the aristocracy, are the sap of this land. And their women are the immemorial guardians of the pictorial traditions of which certain motifs appear already on the pottery of the Indus civilization. Because it is these women who paint on the walls of their modest cob houses powerful sacred frescos, called thapa, a thrilling glossary of village life, of the surrounding flora and fauna; they who draw on their thresholds sacred diagrams, or mandana, an incantatory language, extremely stylized, in honour of the goddess Lakshmi, purveyor of prosperity, but also propitiatory to other divinities such as Shitala Mata, an ambivalent goddess who inflicts and furthers smallpox. Again, it is they who inscribe the pictograms showing key moments in the life cycle: births, engagements, marriages.