TRIBAL FOLKLORE FROM WEST BENGAL
Posted on Friday, September 28 2018 02:47:00 AM in News by aFolk-Store Admin
While talking about India's folkloric cultures the state which most prominently holds this culture is West Bengal. There are a number of tribes present in the state which adds a beautiful flavor to its culture. The tribal population consisting of nearly 2% of the total population of Bengal includes Bauls, Santhals, Munda, Lephcas, Bhuyiya, etc. These tribes can be well differentiated by their folk songs and dance. But most folk forms have their roots in Bangladesh as they originated back on the time when West Bengal was part of the greater Bengal.
Music, song and dance constitutes the tribal folklore culture. Folk songs reflect various emotions of the local people like- joys, sorrows, worries. There are three modalities of the performance of folk songs: chorus, duet and solo. Musical instruments are very simple like- drums, flutes and brass plates are played with the vocal performance. The occasions of this performance are mostly seasonal and rarely special, like rituals, festivals, marriages and funerals. Few famous tribal dances are, Gambhira, performed by the devout devotees of goddesses of Shakti which includes two main dancers expressing their emotions through their signature dialogues which are again repeated by the chorus surrounding them. Another is the Kirtan dance which originated around 500 years ago, introduced by Narada Muni this dance has several elements of music, expression and drama done to pay tribute to Lord Krishna. Kushan dance, performed only by the men dressed as women with various musical instruments focusing on the wiping out of the evil forces. Alkap, a kind of dance drama, popular in Malda and Rajshahi, portrays the most popular love stories along with a mix of dialogues and emotions. Though most popular of them all is the Chhau Nach originating in Purulia is popular not just in Bengal but around the world. Chhau is performed at the time of Sun Festival, which, according to the Hindu calendar takes place during the Chaitra month. The dances are mostly themed around the epic stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The folklore of a particular tribe is the part of not just their culture but also of the entire culture of the nation. In addition to reflecting the culture of the whole of the people it brings solidarity, continuity and consistency in a cultural group.