An equally rich and varied folk
culture from villages is both fascinating & mesmerising.
The music is of uncomplicated innocence and songs depict
day-to-day relationships and chores more often focal
around bring of water. Rajasthan's cultural tapestry
takes in simple folk to highly cultivated classical
music and dance in its own distinct style. Music sung
by women is mostly about water and the style is called
panihari. It depicts daily chores and is cantered around
the well. In arid area like Rajasthan water is of immense
significance. Some of the folk songs also talk about
chance encounter with their lover.
Some even have snipes at the incorrigible mothers-in-law
and sisters-in-law. Music here, also has strong religious
flavour and is sung in dedication to various deities.
Some religious songs are folk idioms of Saints, Surdas,
Kabirdas, Meerabai and others. These songs are mostly
heard in nightlong soirées. Music traditions
are kept alive by entertainer like the Langas, Manganniyars,
Mirasis and Dholis. The education in music of these
groups began early and passed down from generation to
generation. The folk musicians are apt in classical
tradition. Songs normally began with an alap, which
set the tune of the song and then recital of the couplet
that is called the dooba.
The songs also have the taan, the pitch and the tibias
-the triplet, which lends variance to the tune. Ballad
traditions of Rajasthan are also of great attention.
Here bards sing heroic tales of folk heroes like Tejaji,
Gogaji and Ramdeoji. They sing and narrate heroic tales
of battles and even of legendary lovers and their tragedies.
To distinctive category in this tradition are the 'Phad'
and the puppetry. The accompanying instruments are of
various varieties to repercussion, string and wind and
even common use utilities like bells, thali (metal dishes)
and earthen pots. Dance The Thar Desert of Rajasthan
comes alive when its dancers take the center stage.
Rajasthan has great variety of dances, which are simple
expressions of celebration and festivity. The dancers,
the dances and costumes have made Thar the most colorful
desert in the world. Each region adding its own form
of dance styles and performers.
There are dances that follows a lineage of age old traditions,
adhere to religious significance, display their daring
attitude as well as complimenting various fairs and
festivals. Ghoomar, a community dance for women performed
on auspicious occasions. Gair Ghoomar, Raika, Jhoria
and Gauri are particularly of Bhil tribe. Gair is performed
on Holi but only by the men folk. Chari dance, with
pots on the head and a lighted lamp, is popularly performed
on marriage occasions or on the birth of a male child.
Kalbelia dance is of the kalbelia tribe, the snake charmers.
With numerous pots on the head, women excel the balancing
act in the Matka-bhawai. Terah taali, is a ritual for
Baba Ramdev, a dance with thirteen manjiras. Other dances
are Kachhi-Ghodi, Kathputli (the puppet dance), Fire
dance, drum dance and various others pertaining to the
particular tribes. Kathhak, a popular dance form being
imported from Uttar Pradesh have been revived by the
rajputana courts, with a style and theme of its own.