Tribes | VOL. 12, ISSUE 70, January-February 2012

Chhattisgarh Dance and Music

Tagged the 21st century State – Chhattisgarh, located in central India and covers an area of 135,190 km2. Primarily a rural State it is home to the Gond, Halba, Kamar/Bujia, Oraon, Uranv, Kanver, Baiga, Korva, Pando, Birhi, Binjhwar tribes and more. This interesting social composition gives the State a unique backdrop in the nourishing time honed culture and customs. Anthropogenic evidences found in caves and rocks date the history of Chhattisgarh to many thousands of years back and mythology points towards roots in the epochal Ramayana and Mahabharata - however, contemporary history is marked by the Ashokan stone inscription of 257 BC at Rupnath, north of Jabalpur.   The songs of the land The land of Chhattisgarh has much to offer for those keen to learn and understand the solidarity of this preserved heritage and its very vibrant music. The State marks festivals on occasions such as Navakhani, Ganga Dushhara, Sarhul Chherka, Dushara, Karma, Kartika and Hareli, where celebrations reach a crescendo with myriad dance forms and folk songs brightening the night and day skies. Prominent among the songs sung by the tribes are the Sohar – expressing the happiness of a new baby’s arrival; and the Bihav and Pathoni songs which are festive and poignant - in celebration of a new bond, as well as in melancholy about the new bride’s departure from...

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