The strong links that once bound Cornwall with Karnataka, India had long been forgotten until a Cornish folk band decided it was time they were revived once more.

The Rowan Tree uncovered a missing piece of Cornwall’s history when they learnt of a large Cornish community who had uprooted their lives to make their home in the gold mines of southern India.

Cornish miners had been recruited in their droves to establish the mining district known as the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) that would go on to become one of the most successful gold mines in the history of mining.

The Cornish families were at the Kolar Gold Fields roughly between 1900-1950, although some stayed on as late as the 1980s.

The mines only closed in 2001 so the history of KGF still feels very recent and relevant to the community.

Determined to tell the stories of these Cornish miners and their Indian counterparts, the band secured funding from the Arts Council England and the Cornwall Heritage Trust and their mixed media project ‘Kolar’s Gold’ was born.

This month members of the band, who live in Truro, Bodmin and Tintagel and Norwich, travelled to India where they met historians, musicians and local people from KGF. In a groundbreaking move for Cornish music, the band are combining the folk traditions of Cornwall with those from Karnataka, India and bringing Cornish music and culture to a whole new audience worldwide.

“Given that the Cornish and Indian communities lived side by side at KGF, combining the music from the two cultures seemed an appropriate way of telling their stories, and is a first for Cornwall! We’ve put together a fantastic team of musicians in Bangalore and are very excited to see how the music progresses,” Laura Garcia.

The project will be released in February 2020 with proceeds from CD sales going to the Cornwall Heritage Trust, and the KGF Schools Foundation who provide education and facilities for disadvantaged children at KGF.

For more information on the project visit ​​ or email the band at ​