Photographer's Note

In my yesterday's post I told you about the tribal dance of Orissa, particularly the Chhou dance. This dance is also a tribal dance form of Orissa, performed mainly with a background instrumental music only. The instruments mainly consists of Dholak, Dhamsa, Madal (all three are different forms of Drums), Bnashi (flute) etc.
The ceremonies and festivals of the tribes can be classified into two groups, that is, those that relate to the individual families and those that relate to the village as a whole. The ceremonies and rites relating to birth of a child, marriage, death are observed family-wise whereas those relating to various agricultural cycle, eating of new fruits, hunting, etc. are observed by the village community.
Some of the important festivals observed by the tribal communities of Orissa include Guar ceremony of the Saora, Gotar of the Gadaba, Push Punei of the Juang, Kedu of the Kondh, Karam festival of the Oraon, Chait Parab of the Bondo and Magha Parab of the Santal.

With the advent of time, traces of borrowing from Hindu Pantheon and religious ceremonies are noticed among the tribes of Orissa. They have started worshipping Siva, Parbati and Lord Jagannath. Hindu festivals like Raja, Laxmipuja, Dasahara and Gamha are also becoming popular among them day by day.
The tribes of Orissa, despite their poverty and their pre-occupation with the continual battle for survival, have retained the rich and varied heritage of colourful dance and music forming integral part of their festivals and rituals. Among them, the dance and music is developed and maintained by themselves in a tradition without aid and intervention of any professional dancer or teacher. It is mainly through the songs and dances the tribes seek to satisfy their inner urge for revealing their soul. The performance of these only give expression to their inner feelings, their joys and sorrows, their natural affections and passion and their appreciation of beauty in nature and in man.
Although the pattern of dance and music prevalent among them vary from tribe to tribe yet there are certain features common to all. Tribal dances have some accompaniments by means of which the rhythm is maintained. This consists of clapping of hands or beating of drums or an orchestra of different instruments. Every dance is accompanied by a song which is sung by the performers. Both men and women, young and old dance and invariably sing but the accompanying orchestra or music is usually provided by the male members. Tribal dance is characterized not only by its originality and spontaneity but also for its wide range of movements. Many parts of the body such as head, back, arms, feet. finger, etc. are brought into play. Some of the tribal groups put on colourful dancing costume during their performance.
This is also handheld shot, as is visible from the shakes. Sharpened and contrast adjusted using Picasa.

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Additional Photos by Sayan Chakrabarti (sayan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 559 W: 76 N: 686] (2617)
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