Oral Poetry : Folk songs of Kalahandi 

Oral Poetry : Folk songs of Kalahandi 

Mahendra K Mishra 

Kalahandi is a district situated in the Western part of Orissa. Bolangir district of Orissa and Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh are to the north of it, Koraput and Madhya Pradesh to the south-west and Phulbani and Koraput to the east. The district extends over an area of 11,835 Sq. Kms. and constitutes 7.75 per cent of the total area of the State. According to the Census of India, 1981 the total population of this district live in the rural areas. The population belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are 2, 11, 069 and 4, 01, 887 respectively. Fifty per cent land are cultivable plain land, with natural facilities of irrigation whereas the rest fifty per cent land is covered with plateau, mountains and jungles. The life pattern of the people of this area is regulated and adapted according to the geographical and natural resources of this region. 

The way life of this locality is traditional. Fifty per cent people of this area are cultivators and the rest live on forest products, food gathering and adopting manual labour throughout the year. In comparison to the other regions of Orissa, the locality has not been industrialized or modernized. People of hilly area as well as the peasant society have not got a scope to change their traditional way of life. It is a fact that due to failure of crops, the financial condition of the people of this area is not well off. Half of the year goes away in making their living; in differently ways such as collection of forest products, digging soil and engagement in agricultural work; the output of which is negotiable for a normal way of survival. Moreover the growing population with the limited source of income has debackled their normal way of life. 

The natural calamities particularly the appearance of drought in every decade, the exploitative view of the businessmen and contractors, the continuous crop failure and the lack of self-employment in the rural areas, and the socio-economic and religious systems and traditions have made this district backward, in all respect. Inspite of it, the people of this areas live their life with a sense of community, sharing their pains and pleasures among themselves. The twofold life as opposed to each other is seen among the people of Kalahandi. We see the people singing, dancing and sharing their pleasure in one hand and the struggling for their survival on the other. Thus, the people of this locality try to forget the stark reality of the painful moment of their hard life by expressing themselves in singing, dancing and merrymaking in their community. 

Burdened with the bare realities of life, the folk-mind has never hesitated to express its creative ability and imagination through the oral tradition and performing arts. As community life is the basic social characteristic of the people of this area, they never think of enjoying their creative arts without the participation of the whole community. Any one in the community can be a singer or a dancer without prior training, irrespective of age and sex. The folk oral traditions are handed down from generation to generation. One more basic characteristics of these oral traditions are the non-appearance of its authorship. Still, there are some folk bards called ‘Geet-Kudia’ belonging to both the sexes, expert in composing songs spontaneously while singing and dancing in some ceremony or social occasion. 

The folk songs of Kalahandi cannot be separated from dance and music. The fullest enjoyment and expression is inherent in singing, dancing and playing music by them. The rhythm of the Muhuri, Dhol and Nishan—a musical concert of the local music players attracts the hearts of the singers and dancers as well as onlookers. 

The Folk songs of Kalahandi may be classified into some sub-genres as follows : 

  1. The songs of 

entertainment : Rasarkeli, Sajani, jaifula, Bhamara, Gua-nadia, Nialimalli, Dalkhai etc. 

  1. Play songs : 
  2. a) Baria, Bangri, Kalakokila, Jeeralabanga, b) Khamkhamali, Luklukani, Pithapuden, Maachh sare ghina, Kath jia geet etc. 
  3. Work song : Halia, Sagadia, Palarua 
  4. Customary songs base on ‘Rites de passage’ : Lullaby, Marriage, Mourning, Duma utren 
  5. Ritual songs : Thakurani geet, Gobha utara geet, Tokiparab, Chaitparab, Holi etc. 
  6. Songs related to Purana : Palia, Pacharauchara and Badi geet. 
  7. Songs nominated upon musical instrument : Dhab, Ghumura, Madal. 

The classification and the distribution of folk songs of Kalahandi is not different from the folk songs of Western Orissa, as there is a cultural continuity in it. So, while studying the folk songs of Kalahandi, it may not be improper to take it as the folk song of Western Orissa. 

  1. The songs of Entertainment : 

Rasarkeli song (savour of erotic taste), Jaiphula (a flower), Bhamara song (black bee song), Gua-nadia geet (betel nut-coconut song), Nialmalli (a combination of two flowers), Dalkhai song (leaf eater song) are the songs sung by both the young boys and girls. Rasarkeli song represents the intense love and attraction of a male towards a female. The male addresses a female as ‘Rasarkeli’ which literally means the store of erotic savour Jaipuhula (one petalled Jasmine) and Nialimalli are the names of the flowers. The combination of Niali flower with Malli (Jasmine) symbolizes the close and undivided friendship in between the companions. So one friend addresses the other as Jaipuhula or Nialimalli. All the songs, thus, represent the deep love and relationship between the companions. Bhamara geet is especially sung by the females only to tease and disrepute the males. The eternal relationship of a black bee with the flower is a well known allegory in Indian aesthetics. The lustful character of a black bee indulged with many of flowers is the symbol of a lustful adulterer. The Bhamara song of Kalahandi represents the above sense of poetic expression. 

The gua-nadia geet is also an interesting song found in this locality. Gua means betel nut and ‘nadia’ means coconut. These two fruits hard on the surface and juicy within represent the hard and strong surface of the woman’s behaviour with a hidden softness in her brace. If one can manage to penetrate into the heart of the woman by overcoming her rude behaviour he can only enjoy her savour. The theme of the Gua-nadia song of this region is, thus, symbolic with poetic taste. Dalkhai is a song well distributed in Western Orissa. In Sambalpur district this song is used at the time of rituals. But in this area, the song is used at the time of entertainment. Sajani (addressed by one girl to her companion) is a song of conversation in between two girl companions. All these songs are based on eternal love. The joys and sorrows of human feelings have been reflected in it. The sweet and emotive feelings of the lovers of both the sexes, are 

portrayed in the above songs in a simple and lucid manner. The love and hatred, the attraction towards each other, the thirst for union, the social bond as an obstacle in their free unity, the arrogance of a female to her beloved male, the presumption and pretension of the young lady to her lover, the desire for elopement by the couple, the social hindrances standing against their way and will, the strong emotional desire to die and dedicate for each other are portrayed in the said songs. The exultant feelings of lovers flows down from their heart like a wild stream in the form of oral tradition. The eternal love and beauty and the symbol of human feelings have been picturized in it. The greatness of this song is that it is ever-living as oral tradition and it is the song through which a young man expresses his secret desire before a beloved to choose his life partner in which the society also gives its full recognition. To get the vivid taste of some songs are given below : 

  1. Rasarkeli Song : 

Malifula phutikari maha maha basu Kala bhamarake dekhi gaha gaha hasu Tara tara hele nani alge jai basu Kie toke kain kahela sangata Alge jai basu nani de kahide re. 

(You bloom and smell like jasmine, You smile at the sight of black bee, when I approach, you keep aloof, who did say you, what o mate, you sit alone, O’ maid, tell me) 

Rasarkelire Nandi tene pare kire gurjiphula dhoba, Amemane chaluthile naikara lobha, Nandi tene pare kire pakhanara gadi, Chhane para jugithiba sangata Sange jima gadhi kia Dagadia re. Maa bua nani baile sangata, Jima udlia, kia Dagadia re. (O Rasarkli, Across the river, there are while flowers. Don’t avarice on us during our walk, Across the river, there’s the stone seat O compeer wait me a while we shall go to bathe together O how imposter he is, if parents deny O comanion, we will elope.) 

  1. Jaiphula Song : 

Jaiphulare Sahaja patara hate, Bana luga dei anichhe tote Jaiphulare Ghaita balibu mote. (O jaiphula, saj leaf in my hand. 

I have brought you instead of woven Clothes, you will call me husband.) Jaiphulare, panigala sagaraku mana karithili sunagoriku Jaiphulare, Chora buhinela taku. (O jaiphula, water glided down to the sea, I desired the golden fairy, O jaiphula, the thief stole her.) 

  1. Bhamara Song : 

Khaili rasa gulgula, Tora nai babu maheji pila, Maheji pila ho sate, Mora sange mana bhula bhamarare. (I ate juicy sweets You have no wife nor children. Really, you come to me, O black bee.) Duare ghantilu dhana, Ame tukilamane khailu pana Khailu pana ho sate Pilamane hinamana bhamara re. (Dried paddy on the corridor We girls chewed betel, The boys are deprived; O black bee.) 

  1. Gua-nadia Song : 

Barike dogila hansa, Muhuke dekhile ho sate, Budhi bayase, Sate, kusari rakhichhu rasa re Guanadia Sate dindiri ase bhendia re Guanadia. (Swan corssed the boundary Your visage looks old in age You are the stock of sugarcane O guanadia, the young lad moves around you.) Ahare ukiabati ! Tui nai heluga sate amara jati Sate kole dhari chuma detire guanadia, Sate kindiri ase bhendia re guanadia. (O brighrty ! were you my caste, Really, I’d kiss you putting on my lap, O guanadia, the young lad moves around you.) 

  1. Nialimalli : 

Tena pati base Bandu Machha nai bali kainje kandu 

Sate bhaluchama tike bandhu re Nialimalli, Nialimallike paimi bali Kede asha Karithili. (The Bandu [1] bird sat on the ‘Tenda pati’ [2] (water lifting crane) Why do you cry, that you have no moustache tie a bear skin on it O Nialimalli to get you, how great hope I had !) Dalkhaire, Suru suru bhaji mulapatara khaibake nanai hela batara Dasata anguthi panchata mundi, Ame naijanu dalkhai, Khechada budhi. (The little greens and raddish leaf, O leaf-eater became worthy of eating there are ten fingers for five rings O dalkhai we don’t know how to tease.) 1. Bandu pati : A bird like owl 2. Tenda pati : Water lifting wooden crane. Dalkhaire, chala tukilemane nadike jima, Rupara thaline lau katima Sunara thaline jogara [1] nema, Khaibake dema juna puruna Suibake seja palanka uchhaidame ki dalkhaire, (O leaf-eater, let us all the girls, go to the river, Cut the gourd in silver plate, take the ‘jogara’ in golden plate we will feed them opening new and old fetch them quit and palanquin to sleep.) 1. Jogara : Fooding and clothing provided to the host by their relatives for the guest as the part of the ritual. 

  1. Sajani Song : 

Sajani, kahin jaithila jane, Khata paridele basiba chhane, Katha charipada bane sajanire. (O companion, where had you been alone ? You will sit for sometime when offered cot, to have four good words gossip, O companion.) X X X X Sajani, alua chaula jhain, Tumara mana katha kahila nai Sajani, aja janigali muhin. (O companion, the white rice is bright, You did not tell me your heart today I found it.) 

  1. Play Song : 

The Baira, the Bangari, the Kalakokila and the jeera labanga are the songs sung by the two groups of girls at the moonlit night on the village road. The girls put each one’s hand against other’s waist and form a group. Seven to eight girls constitute a group. While singing the song, one group moves towards the other and recedes and other group answers them as follows : 

First group suggestions in a chorus : 

Uli Uli Uli Uli baria, Uli uli uli uli re, Se uli gala bajara buli. Mahitani gala dhuli baria Mahitani gala dhulire. Kholi kholi gala gai baria, Kholi kholi gala gaire Tamara pina to usara nai, (repeat) Rahasa gadima kahin baria, Rahasa gadima kahinre. (The cow went on the road, Your corridor is not wide Where shall were post the flag post ?) 

second group answers the above questions in chorus as follows : Kholine rahasa gada baria Kholine rahasa gadare Gahati ghare annuchhe jara, Oso kasa tike kara baria, Osa kasa tike karare. (Post the flag post on the road, The wife of village headman is on fever Arrange medicine for her.) The luklukani (hide and seek), Khamkhamali pithapuden (making cakes), maachh sare ghina (purchase a leaf of fish), Kath jia song the sond of going for firewood) and some other games are local folk-games. In each and every game the songs are inevitable. The various characters, events and conversations presented in the play-action help the children expose their creative urges in the process of socialization. 

  1. Work Song : 

In most of the villages of kalahandi, the landless people work in their master’s house as agricultural labourers. They work throughout the year for stipulated quantity of paddy; about ten to fifteen quintals per annum. The agricultural labourers are known as Halia, literally implying ploughman. The earning provided to the halia by his master is insufficient to maintain his family throughout the year. Still the halia, with his limited source of income tries to satisfy his family. He wants to live happily within his limited universe. Poverty is the real identity of his life. He works as had as the bullocks, but never gets a plateful of rice to fill up his own stomach or to satisfy his family. 

In the “Halia song” the life picture of a halia family of this locality is reflected in a lively manner, in which one can find the pitiable condition of his family. The master knows how to extract hard work from the halia, but never cares for his miserable condition. The halia not only works in the field but also he goes to the forest with a bullock cart to collect fire wood. 

After coming from the forest he requests his master to give some paddy. He remembers that in his house there in no single grain of rice to cook. After releasing the bullocks from the cart the halia goes to his master to beg rice. In the Halia song the above description are as follows : 

Eade sagada anili gharake ghare gadi hela thia Katha patra sari mahajana thane sabu katha kahe thika, Samia hela je masuri dhana ho, napidia mahajana. Bela uchhluchhi ghare adhadiya nahin Kutibe bhuasen dhana. (brought the cart to the house finishing collecting wood, tells before his master O master, it is time, give me masur paddy the time is going. no paddy in house, to be husked by the women.) 

The hard and strenuous life of a halia or sagdia (cartman) becomes colourful with the soothing and inspiring words of his beloved who inspires him to live a happy life. The romantic spectacles of nature like the couple of weaver birds living happily in the nest on the mango tree and the frog couple living under the arum tree shape their ideas. Keeping an eye on the uncertainty of the life span, the halia invites his mate to make a nest like in the following manner. Ama gachha tale baya basa kala Sarugachha 

tale benga Marigale jiba thiba ki nathiba tumari amari sanga. (the couple of weaver birds nesting on the mango tree, the couple of frog, under the arum tree What is the surety of life, let’s be mates.) D. Customary Songs based on “Rites de passage” : 

In the various stages of social life, song in inevitably employed. Mother sings lullabies to sleep her obstinate child. The boys and the girls sing song while playing. Songs are sung from the time of child birth to death ritual of human beings. In marriage ceremony, there are some rituals where the song is inevitable. Without the song the tituals are said to be incomplete. In the time of the marriage negotiation of a girl, the young girls of her village welcome and appease the guests through singing and dancing. During marriage ceremony the various rituals such as Haldi Makha (smearing turmeric paste on the bride) Mali chagha (adorning the bride with beads and ornaments) Telchagha (smearing of oil to the bride and bridegroom) Mangal geet (auspicious song) are exclusively needed. In the Telchagha song of the paharia tribe, the ritual is described as below : 

Tel tel balsa nani kahan pawe tel, Tel tel balsa nani kain tel chaghia, Hirabati parbati kain tel chaghia Dada achhe tel chaghei, bada bohu awa, Kaka achhe tel chaghei Kaki mane awa Dadi achhe tel chaghei, Aai mane awa Tel tel balse nani, kai tel chaghia. Hirabati parbati, kusum tel chaghia. (O girl, you are speaking of oil, where from will you fetch oil ? O hirabati, O Parbati, which oil will you smear ? Elder brother is coming to smear oil, elder sister-in-law coming. Uncle is coming to smear oil, aunt is coming. 

Grand father is coming to smear oil, grand mother is coming. O Nani, you are speaking of oil, which oil will you smear ? O Hirabati, O Parbati, smear kusum oil on her body.) 

While the bride bade farewell along with the bridegroom, the Kanialama song recited by her parents and companions is heart-rending and awful. In this song the painful feelings of the bride’s departure from her own parents house is described in a heart-breaking manner. The parents feel sorry for the departure of their beloved daughter. The song is as follows : “Dhire dhire renganani dhire dhire renga, Dhire dhire renga nani kania lama bele, Mudar jawa khusal jahi, gagar luga khusal jahi Dhire dhire renga nani kania lama bele. Bua kande Katan sale, maa kande ronda ghare, Na kanda nakanda ho yo, Kania lama bele, Gaile mangala geeta, dele hulahuli, Na kanda na kanda na bua kania lama bele.” (O bride, move slowly, Your hair knot will fall down. Your clothes will slip down. It is the time of your farewell O girl, move slowly) (Father is crying near husking place. Mother is crying in the kitchen, Don’t cry, Don’t cry, O, It is the time of her Farewell. They sang the auspicious song. And gave hulahuli. Don’t cry father and mother I is the time of her farewell.) Mourning : The place of woman in the society is inferior in comparison to men. The new bride has to fare many difficulties in her husband’s house. Her mother-in-law and her husband’s sister became hostile and scandal her. Being the victim of them, she remembers the sweet days of her mother’s house. Sometimes the situation in her family becomes so intricate and unbearable that she comes to her mother’s house for rescue. There, keeping her head on her mother’s shoulder she bewails which bursts out in form of a song : E mago, kaisi miracha badato raga, ma go mui po heithile tui deithitu bhaga, ma go mui jhi heli bali tui moke nandine boholaidelu ma go; mui nai sunila katha sunuchhi ma go; moke chori hotli khaila baluchhan ma go X X X X E bohu, mora suiba thana mela hela go bohu, mora korihia darapanake kena dekhba go bohu. moke kena kuri deba go bohu Toro kaje randhi deba go bohu. (O mother, the unripe chilly is very bitter. Were I a son, you’d given me my share, As I am your daughter You threw me adrift the river, O mother. I am scandaled, I had never been. I am alleged a thief in their house.) X X X X 

(O sister-in-law, my sleeping bed falled empty Who shall avail my old looking glass. Who will comb my hair Who will help your cooking, sister-in-law) Not only the daughter, but the mother as well remorses herself as to why she put her beloved daughter in such a hell. Remembering her daughter’s pitiable condition she cries which out of her heart in the form of song. 

Duma Utra Song : 

It is a common belief of the people of this locality that, the soul of the man after his death never dies. It takes rebirth again. In some tribes the soul or ‘Duma’ of the deceased person is invited to the house through a ritual, which is popularly known as Duma Utara—literally meaning the invitation of the spirit from the unseen world. The relatives of the deadman arrange this ritual by inviting the Duma into an earthen pot on the bank of a river or a water source. At that time the whole clan and the kinsmen of the deadman are invited and the worship of Old souls (Juna Duma) begins. Then the worship and invitation of new Duma (soul) is carried through an invocation. The new soul in summoned with the old souls to the kitchen of the descendant of the deadman. The new soul (Nua-duma) is worshipped as a God or ancestor spirit. It is a common belief that the ancestor spirits save their respective families from diseases, unseen dangers and watch their fields. Even they predict the future occurrences to them and save them from those difficulties. The people count their last five ancestors as living spirit always watching over them. In all the rituals related to “rites de passage” and “rites de intensification” the invitation and worship of the ancestor spirit is inevitable. When one is blessed with a male child, then it is believed that some ancestor ‘Duma’ has taken rebirth into his family. Through a divination process they try to know the particular ancestor who has taken rebirth as that male child. In all the agricultural festivals the Duma is worshipped with due importance. 

The invitation of Duma, i. e. the transformation of human soul to divine soul is performed through a long and strict ritual. The invocation is sung by the respective ethnic bard a long period of time. In the Dumautra song the origin of the respective caste, the glorious personalities and their miraculous deeds are described in a gracious manner as to inspire the present generation with their glorious heritage. Here a ritual of Gond Duma utra, while ‘parghania’ a gond bard invoking the old and new spirit, is presented originally. 

Ero rela rela je Ero rela rela, Gahar mati pati je gahar chhotibudhi Gahar pardasian je gahar Baburai Gahar je gangadi je gahar je gangadi, Ata gada soga je sabu thula hele, Babubole babu je loko borun jibu, Kar gharke jibu babu, kar gharke jibu, Gadake je Damdagarh Markam gharke jibu Dasa parigala je dasa parigala. Atagarha sagane je biha borun heba, Babu bale babu je biha borun heba, Ken godke jibu babu, Lanji garhke jibu, Netam gharke jibu babu, Netam gharke jibu. (Ero rela rela je Ero rela, 

the holy soil and the seat of the village. The goddess chhotibudhi of the village. Goddess pardesien of the village. Goddess Gangadei of the village. The eight clan gathered at one place, O boy, You will go to invite all the kinsmen Whose house will you go to, my boy to whom will you go ? You will go to Damdagarh find Markam clan there. Oh our bad time arrived, our bad time came. A marriage ceremony will be held among the eight fort clans. O boy, you will go to invite them all. To which fort will you go my boy ? You will go to Lanjigarh There you will find netam clan, You will go to netam’s house.) 

Formerly the Duma song was in ‘Gondi’ Language, but now all the Gonds of Kalahandi speak Oriya dialect and sing their invocations in local Oriya. Every ethnic group has their own way of rituals for inviting Duma, though the basic world view as regards to the ancestor worship is uniform throughout. 

The distribution of Thakurani worship as the Goddess of Smallpox is prevalent all over India. Though the smallpox has been eradicated in this country, the traditional belief of Thakurani mata for the goddess of smallpox still persists in some parts of India. Even in last 1986-87, this belief was predominant in the Kutia kondh tribe of Kalahandi. Hundreds of Kutia Kondhs of this district died out of some unknown disease. The medical facilities provided for their treatment were refused. They had a strong belief in their mind that their Thakurani mata— mother goddess of smallpox was humiliated for some cause and hence out of anger she took revenge on them. They also confirmed that no medical treatment can save their life, unless Goddess Thakurani is appeased with buffalo sacrifice. No doubt this is a blind belief. But the conservative people of these area have a strong faith in it. In the months of Fagun and Chait (February and March) when the outbreak of chicken pox and Measeales takes place, they worship Thakurani mata by offering her the somke of resin, syrup of molasses along with the turmeric and him leaf and recite the song with deep devotion. In a Thakurani song recited by the village priest it is described that Mother Thakurani, taking a basket in her left hand and a broom in her right hand, washes up the villages and takes hundreds of lives gathering them in her basket. Even the Gods are also not left out of the clutches of her and become the victim of her sharp eyes. The song is as follows : 

Mago, akhi chhipichhipi mago mundare chhipiri Loi loi chale budhi mai hata mela kari. Aago jagat janani mata Nagara bharmani kari jau more dai Lima haladi paile go thana tumari Mata go rakha dukha harani. (O mother, with your twinkling eyes and a basket on your bushy head. You walk leaning, spreading your hands. O universal mother 

You move in the cities and villages You relish in Nim and turmeric O mother, save me, take away all my miseries.) 

  1. Ritual Songs : 

Govautara Song : 

The Kondh tribe of Kalahandi were practising meriah sacrifice till the last part of 19th century. They were sacrificing their daughter and son to appease Dharani mata—the earth Goddess. These is a strong belief and a worldview in their mind that, the Goddess will never be satisfied unless she is offered human blood. The Kindhs believe that the Goddess would give more harvest if human blood is offered to Her. Even in this religious rites, the Jani (priest) of the community was offering his elder son to dharani mata. This tradition was prevalent in the Kondh dominated area which was suppressed by the Britishers. Now, the meriah sacrifice has stopped, but to compensate the cultural loss of juman sacrifice, the Kondhs offer Buffaloes in place of it. This trend is still continuing in Kalahandi and in other Kondh areas of South-East India. This ritual is known as Pod-puja, literally means buffalo sacrifice. The Durga Mahishasura myth of the ‘Devi-Bhagabat’ and ‘Chandi puran’ has been associated with the buffalo sacrifice. The Kondhs believe that the Dharani mata as Durga and the buffalo brought for sacrifice as the symbol of Mahisasura—the demon. This ritual takes place on a Thursday during the brightmoon period of the month of Pausa. This ritual is observed by the Kondhs as well as the co-habitants as an agricultural festival. Before the buffalo is sacrificed on the altar of Goddess Dharani mata, a long and mythic song is invocated by the ‘Gova Jani’ (the priest who knows the essence of the myth) from the preceding evening. The process of recitation begins from Wednesday evening till the end of the myth by Thursday morning. The ritual is known as ‘Gova utara’ literally means the dismounting of essence (of the Kondh myth). Soon after the Gova utara is over the buffalo is sacrificed before the goddess and its head is offered in Her altar. The song is most secret, handed down from the generations of Gova Jani. The main singer Gova Jani with his choir singers use to sing the song with a wooden musical instrument named ‘Sadki’. All over the night the Gova Jani and the choir of singers take mahua liquor and sing the song. The song is sung for twelve hours. The beginning of the song is as follows : 

E mago Dharam tui Dharme jaya go pape khaye E gudguduchhe, rudruduchhe E kein sabad ho houchhe na je E kein leela ho houchhena je Aja nai ho kalanai Rangal butta tale rud ruduchhe Ke gota bua janam hauchhe. Penbora ho, kan bora je Se gota bua janam houchhe. (O mother, the king of all virtue Goodness wins and wickedness perish what sound there; what games occuring there ? Not today nor tomorrow Beneath the Rengal tree it is sounding. Who takes birth Pen Bora and Kan Bora, they are coming) 

Tokiparab Song : 

The ‘Tokiparab’ or Tokimara parab’ is also a perverted form of female infanticide by the Kondh paroja tribes of Kalahandi. In this festival the Kondh-paroja sacrifice ewe symbolizing it as the daughter of Jani—the Kondh paroja priest. The objectives of this ritual has nothing dissimilar then the buffalo sacrifice. They think that if the hair or a flesh of the ewe is taken away from the sacrificial ground and buried in the field, the field will be fertile and carry ample harvest. So the Kondh-paroja never cares to get a hair or a piece of flesh at the cost of getting injured. Several invocation songs are sung in the time of Tokiparab, e.g. one old Kondh paroja tries to get a hair or a piece of flesh of the ewe and when he fails to get it, out of sorrow he sings, 

Alo jani wena, menda buri kaji Soda gosia soda, menda buri kaji Hartarati jaga kitam menda buri kaji (Hello Jani, hear me, for a hair of an ewe, Hear master hear, for the hair of an ewe, The whole night awoke, for the hair of an ewe,) 

Chait Parab Geet : 

The festival Chaitparab is observed in the South-Eastern part of Kalahandi. This festival continues for a month. It is a spring festival of this locality. The symbolic representation of hunting and food gathering from the jungle are shown by the young tribal lads acting like hunters. In a common place of the village called ‘shemelmuda’ all the villagers unite to take part in chait parab. Irrespective of age and sex, the folk participate in dancing, singing and playing music collectively. Feasting and drinking are the most important items in this festival. Sharing of joys and expressing their creative self is the sole motif of this festival. This is a festival especially meant for the unmarried young boys and girls. Song competitions among them take place all over the night with music and dancing. They boys and the girls form separate group facing each other on the common place. The natural setting of the blue-green mountain, moon lit night, cold air with the fragrant scent of wild flower is the folk stage for the community dance. There is no such bar in between the onlooker and the performer. Any onlooker can be a performer without hesitation. 

*Chait parab festival is observed in South-Eastern Kalahandi. In western Kalahandi it is called ‘Chaitra’. The way of observation of ‘Chaitra’ is different from that of Chait parab. 

As the festival falls on the month of Chait (March) it is popularly known as Chait Parab. At the ‘Geet kudia’ and ‘Geet Kudiani’ (folk bard of both the sexes) begin the prayer to local deities like earth Goddess along with the Goddess Durga, Saraswati and Sarala. Then after the invocation songs are over the young boys and girls begin their love song as competing each other in the presence of the community. The song is followed with music and dance. The songs are full of erotic sense expressing the naked thought of participants of both the sexes. Some songs are given below : 

Rasare, asa asa mora champalo gharani, Khaiba ke debi ke lala murguni To kolare basthibi, Mui rahi rahi kari dharapadigale kenabate chhadi jibi, Tui birasa nakara mote Malliphula, birasa nakara mote. (O Savour, O my golden fairy, do come. I shall provide you with red deer meat and will be sitting on your lap. 

If caught up, where shall I go ? O jasmine, don’t make me sorry.) 

The young girl hearing the love approach of the yound lad, replike like this : Rasare, Hakadaka deli, Khamana ke gali, Akhada phikili, kamala tulili, Satasara phula mude ne khuchili, Tumar kholi dane gali, Tumar Tumar para jeta dhangara ke redhi ne dhamasa deli. (O Savour, I called everybody and went into the jungle, throwing parched rice, plucking oranges, dressed with seven pronged flowers on my head, I went on your road. I kicked all the young men like you in my heel.) The Bhatra, Paroja and Gond tribes of estern Kalahandi enjoy the chait Parab dance heartily. The Dhangda—Young lad invites his beloved Dhangadi—Young lady to sing and dance in this occasion. The Dhangada invites his mate his mate as follows : Lele rasode, lele rasode, Sarikelana duta keli aso ho. Amta rengsa juli, lele rasode, Amata parwajuli, nachi asa ho. (O nectar of love, O nectar of love, Come to play with your Sari-compeer. You are my friend, since our crawling time You are my friend like pigeon couple O Sari, come to dance.) Besides these songs, the chherchera song in the time of Pausa purnima and the Holi song in the time of Holi-Dola purnima are noteworthy. 

  1. Songs related Purana : 

Songs related to Purana are popularly known as Palia song and Pachara-Uchara song literally meaning the song of question-answer. The mystic and mythic topics of Indian epics are asked by one group and the other group tries to answer it. The question of victory and defeat depends upon the capacity of the groups. The victors are rewarded for this. Most of the songs are borrowed from the Purana and Sastras and handed down orally. In Ghumura dance this form of songs are employed. This song is the inter link between the folk and elite from. 

  1. Songs nominated upon Musical Instruments : 

The songs especially used in the time of dances are named accordingly. These are Ghumura song in Ghumura dance, Dhab song used in the time of Dhab dance, Madal geet in Madal dance, Danda geet in the time of Danda dance. The Ghumura is a systematic dance in which a classical form is found out. The songs are sung in the line of Oriya Malasri, Chaupadi and Orissi songs. Besides some folk songs of the locality are also sung in the Ghumura dance which keep the folk classical continuum. 

The Dhab is a musical drum played by the male dancers and drummers of Kondh tribes of Kalahandi. The name of the dance and the song is named according to the musical instrument. The young male and female of Kondh tribes dance the Dhab dance singing the Dhab song. Most of the Dhab songs are based on extremely erotic expression with the nude description of sexual enjoyment. This song is sung both by male and female before the community without any hesitation. Dalkhai and Sadarasa songs are two important songs 

used in the time of Dhab dance. Dhab songs of Kui language are full of pornography symbolically exposing the primodial human instincts. Some of the Dhab songs are given below : 

‘Jajare Jalia mo ghatimalia basigala denga gachhe, Hata khete nai goda khete nai khaibake mana achhe, Kamala, tumar gagare jhule, Dharai deba tumar mana thile.’ (The notorious and wearer of beads, sat on the tall tree, my oranges dangling on your body. If you wish, you will get me those in my hands. You will make me handy of it.) X X X X Rasare, Jubadehaku, Jaki rakhiachhuy dui kumbhaku, Debiboli moke asha delu, Jaldi jalidi kam helabele dam paisa mulkalu. (O nectar of love, your body is young, You hoard your two vessels You promised to give me While I was going to get you, You bargained for money.) 

The Mandal dance of the Gond and Bhunjia tribes of Kalahandi is a primitive tribal dance in nature. The songs sung in this dance are known as Sarudhana small property. The free and unhesitating expression in the above songs are interesting, such as : Khajura khaili ante sarudhana, khajura khaili ante, Maa ghara jhia hoila pete Sate chali na parila bate sarudhana Chali na parila bate. (O small property, I ate date palm carrying in my clothes. The daughter being pregnant in her mother’s house. Could not walk on the road.) III 

The above discussions are based on the available folklore materials of Kalahandi collected by the author himself. Besides this, the social and aesthetic aspects of the folk songs of Kalahandi need further discussion. Lastly it may be concluded that the Folk oral tradition is the life-pulse of the people of Kalahandi who share their love and affection, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures in the community with a sense of belongingness. The external value in these folk songs bear the life picture of the people of this locality. 


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