Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jharkhand Culture :: Regional Culture :: Indian Culture

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The state of Jharkhand is home to a number of tribal communities since the ancient times. These tribal communities include Santhal, Munda, Gond, Oraon, Kol, Savar, Birhor, Chero, Birjia, Gorait, Karmali, Mahli, Kora, Parhaiya, Sauria-Paharia, Kisan, etc.

No wonder, the art and culture of Jharkhand reflects a vivid and colorful tribal tapestry. Jharkhand has about 30 tribes out of which 9 are primitive, maintaining their own, unique cultural identity till this day in undiluted forms. The tribals have their unique dance, music, and art and craft forms which doesn't fail to enchant the tourists. The masks, bamboo crafts, wood work, and folk paintings of Jharkhand are other expressions of this state's perennial culture, which have their roots in the tribal mosaic. The cultural affairs sector of the state organizes programs related to the culture of Jharkhand, which includes different dances, music, drama, kavi sammelans, paintings, and other related activities.

Culture of Jharkhand

Festivals- the important festivals of the state are Sohraj, Karma, Badna, Sarhul, Hal Punhya, Id, Holi, X-mas, Dussehra, etc.

Folk Dances- It comprises of the Jadur, Paika, Karma, Chhou, Nachni, Agni, Santhal, Natua, Matha, Sohrai, etc.

Local Languages- Mundari, Khortha, Sadri, Hindi, Urdu, Santhali, Kurukh, Malto, Ho, Bangla, Nagpuria, and Panchparagnia are the local languages of the state.

Folk Music- Faguwa, Mardana Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Jhumta, Pahilsanjha, Dohari Domkach, Akhariya Domkach, Udasi, Pawas, etc.

One of the most exciting tribal dances of Jharkhand is the 'Chhou Naach.' The Chhou Naach is often performed in an open area and generally at night. The dancing area is covered by fire poles called as mashaals, for the sake of lighting. The performers play the character of Gods in the dance. They use colorful and beautiful big masks for their dance. The dance is based on the myths of 'Ramayana' and the 'Mahabharata.' They use traditional ornaments as well as the weapons. Chhou Nach is a unique expression of the culture of Jharkhand.

The musical tradition of Jharkhand contains different types of tribal forms and is well known for their diverse nature. Among the famous folk music forms of the state of Jharkhand is the Jhumar, that is followed by a dance. Traditionally, different forms of art are used by the people. The most popular among them are the bull painting, body painting, stone cutting, folk painting fresco, sculpting elephant, horse, etc. They also craft some unusual images in the wood. Decorating the walls is very commonly seen here.

Some of the major festivals of the state are:

1. Hal Punhya- Hal Punhya is the first day of the month of Magh and is also called Akhain Jatra. This means that the ploughing should be started now. The festival falls during the winter and symbolizes the onset of the farming session. The farmers start ploughing two- and-half circles in their land to symbolize the auspicious morning. It is regarded as a sign of good fortune.

2. Sarhul- It is worshipping of the village diety, who protects and supports the tribes. There is dancing and singing in the whole region accompanied with drinks, snacks and a variety of foods. The festival is celebrated in the season of the spring when the Sal trees start sprouting and blossoming, and becomes green. The offering of this festival is called diang or the hadia; a popular wine that is made out of stale rice.

3. Rohin- A festival of sowing seeds in the fields by the farmers. Here there is no such dancing or singing like other festivals, but the festivity is accompanied with a few rituals.

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