It’s that time of the year again – we are surrounded by festivities and one of the biggest one Durga Pujo.But today’s Pujo and earlier forms of worshipping the deity.
Did you know
Centuries ago, Bengalis (including Bengalis in WB, Jharkhand, Odisha and even far away Bangladesh) indulged in music, dance and painting as part of their rituals.
Music:Did you know that for centuries folk music existed in Bengal in the form of music rendered by a group of minstrels, the Baul fakirs, identified by their unique clothing and music. The Bauls tend to distribute their songs and music orally without records and most of the songs have been passed on from one generation to other.
Images courtesy: sahapedia.org
Basically, Bauls use a number of musical instruments: the most common is the ektara, a one-stringed “plucked drum” drone instrument, carved from the epicarp of a gourd, and made of bamboo and goatskin. There is always a mysticism associated with wandering minstrels.
Baul Fakirs belong to a traditional fusion and mix of multiple religious influences into an eclectic group called Bauls. The tradition is primarily a strange mix of influences from the Vaishnav Bhakti movement, a Hindu religious movement from the pre-medieval era and of Sufi influence from Islam. The result of this is rendered in music and songs that celebrates celestial love imbibing the philosophies of both Hindu and Sufi Islam.
Dance: Santhal dance form moves to the beats of music, to celebrate the glory of nature, raise a message and offer prayers to the presiding deity.The Santhal dance is considered to be one of the best tribal folk dances of India, which offers immense vibrancy and cheerfulness. It’s generally performed by both the men and women and it often covers issues related to gender and land rights.
Images courtesy :Wikipedia.org
Images courtesy :TheBetterIndia.com
Patachitras are made in two formats: the vertically scrolled paintings and horizontally scrolled ones both referred to as Jodano or Gutano Pata and the smaller square or rectangular formats known as Chouko Pata. The size of the patra generally varies from one to three feet in width and six to twenty feet in length, depending on the length of the story. The two ends are attached to two bamboo sticks and the whole length would be rolled up tightly. During the performance, the Patua sings his story while slowly unrolling the scroll, one frame at a time, pointing at the various characters in each panel of the story.