DIBRUGARH, Jan 15 � A determined effort is being made to revive and popularize the rich variety of folk music and folk dances of the Mundari and Kharia Adivasis of Assam through rigorous training and workshops.
The cultural revival movement of these tribes started in Sonitpur district and is gathering impetus in Upper Assam.
The initiative to enliven the fading dances and songs of the Mundaris and Kharias began after a group of cultural enthusiasts from Tezpur area set out to study the rich folk components of these two tribes in Jharkhand�s rural hamlets and resolved to promote the same in the state.
Gana Chetna, a non-profit organization from Tezpur led by an Adivasi Jesuit priest George Soreng, has been carrying out the cultural renaissance programmes in the villages and tea estates. At a ten-day training programme, which concluded yesterday at Margherita in Tinsukia district, the trainees were taught the art of beating drums for different dances, the folk steps for different dances with accompanying folk songs.
The trainers engaged in Margherita include Rajesh Kerketta, Poonam Amarlata Topno, Julia Dhanga, Ilene Topno, Suchita Bhengra, Ajit Kandulna, George Bhengra and Prakash Kandulna.
Atuwa Munda, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home, during the concluding ceremony called upon all tribal people to work for the promotion of their distinctive cultures.
The folk dances of the Mundaris like Karam Lahsuwa, Rabal Karam, Humbal Karam, Genna, Jadur, Kojro, Mage and Jrapi were taught to the trainees while of the Kharia tribes, the folk dances like Jetwari Lahsuwa, Jetwari Tedia, Asari Lahsuwa, and several other dances were taught.
�People in the state particularly are familiar with Jhumur alone, whereas the Mundas and the Kharias have many categories of dances with exclusive drum beats as also similar categories of folk songs to accompany them,� George said.
George had taken about twenty five youths; both boys and girls to Jharkhand for the folk dance and folk song training.
These trained members are now divided into groups and engaged in training others in villages and tea estates, the director of Gana Chetna told The Assam Tribune.
The training at Margherita was organized under the aegis of St Mary�s School from January 5 to 14. The trainees and trainers were also moving out to nearby villages for live demonstrations during their training period.