The silence of the desert breaks into a thousand colours and notes of music, as the hardworking people of Rajasthan are transformed into fun-loving and carefree individuals.
They delve within their spirit to bring some of most soulful music, dance, puppetry and festivities.
Professional performers like the Bhatts, Dholis, Mirasis, are omnipresent across the state, singing songs for the villagers, who throng to the shows.
Explore their dance, music and colorful costumes in this module.
The musical instruments of Rajasthan are simple, yet magical and mesmerising.
You can feel the throb and beat of the percussion instruments, right from the huge Changs,
Nagaras and Dhols to the tiny Damrus. Any festival, or event is incomplete without the joyful sound of the Dhol.
With their soft serenade are the many types of wind instruments, especially the morchang. The Shehnai is double-reed wind instrument. It is used in auspicious occasions in temples, folk festivities and ceremonies.
The ballads of lost love, and heroes, bhajans and banis to the Gods are a part of Rajasthani folk songs. We present 4 typical folk songs here.Tera talli song is sung by the Tera Talli dance group in strong and passionate voices. It is sung in the honour of Baba Ramdev, the folk hero.
In a dharati mane abhiman, which means i am proud of my motherland, is sung in praise of the land and its heroes.
Goomer Song is a song popularly sung during a wedding ceremony. It describes the feelings of the bride, her costume and jewellery.
Holiyo me ude re gulal is sung at the time of the colourful festival of Holi. It describes the culture and dress of the natives.
The folk beliefs of Rajasthan are reflected in every thing they do – from singing to music and dance. The anklet sings, feet drums as the dancers move to their own style and rhythm.
Teerah Taali: This dance is performed in the worship of a saint – Baba Ramdeo. The dancer sits with thirteen cymbals or manjeeras, tied to her hands and legs and strikes them with the ones they hold in her hands.
Sometimes, the dancer may hold a sword between her teeth or place pots with lighted lamps on the head.
This dance may also be performed in groups. The peculiarity of the dance is that the thirteen manjeera’s are struck in thirteen different tals (rythms) and hence the dance is called tera talli which means thirteen tals.
Kacchi Ghodi: A boisterous and vigorous dance performed on dummy horses. The bridegroom party even stages a mock fight with sidestepping, sharp pirouetting and brandishing of swords.Bhavai : Ultimate skill is required as the dancers balance seven or nine brass pots on their head and dance nimbly on crushed glass or on the edge of the plate. A performance that makes the viewer hold his breath in suspense.Charee : This strange captivating dance is popular in the Kishangarh region. The pattern is choreographic as the dancers balance gleaming brass pitchers containing smouldering cotton seeds on their heads, sometimes instead of cotton seeds they fill the pots with sand placing a lighted lamp on it.
Rajasthani people are bedecked with original and exquisite ornaments. Rajasthan is famous for its kundankari and meenakari work . They are created by artisans who have perfected their art under the patronage of the rulers of the place. The best place to buy silver kundan and meenakari work is the temple market at Nathdwara.
Right from the wandering gypsy adorned with bone jewellery and silver jewellery, to the kings in their gem studded gold – every one expresses their feeling for harmony in life through their jewellery.
Along with feminine jewellery, you will also find masculine jewellery and strangely enough this seems to add to the magnificence of the desert along with a tremendous will to live and thrive!
The Rajasthani Turban has a special place in the ritualistic life of the people. Called Safa, Paaga or pagri, it is a piece of cloth averagely nine metres long, but some are even longer.
Types of Turbans : You could often get to know the region, caste and religion of the man, through the style of the turban worn.
The shepherd community had would be recognised by the multi-coloured turbans they wear, while the Bhisnoi community by their white turbans.There are 1000 ways to wear a turban.
Some of them are -“Jallori” from Jallore, “Bhatti” from Jaisalmer, “Shahi Jodhpuri paag” or the royal turban, the Jaisalmer merchants “paagri”, the “Banswara paag”, “Jaipuri turban” from Jaipur, the “Alwar” turban, “Sirohi” turban.
Today the Jodhpuri “safa” has become the most common headgear all over Rajasthan.The turbans and their colours differ with occassions too. The “Durbari paag” of Dholpur was to be worn while attending the royal durbar or court. There were “Shikari turbans” to be worn while hunting.Saffron is considered the most sacred colour and is worn to weddings. Other colours such as red, magenta, are also worn. Dark blue, black, khaki are worn during the period of mourning.
Significance : Essentially protecting against the strong sun, it is an symbol of a man’s honour. Knocked over it implies an insult, placed at man’s feet it represents surrender, an exchange means brotherhood, when a man carries a turban in his hand to present to women, it tells bout her husbands death.