During auspicious events like marriages, childbirth, and other religious and social festivals, the folk music genre known as “Maangal” is traditionally performed in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The songs are said to bring luck and fortune because the word “Mangal” is an auspicious or blessing.
Traditional instruments like the dhol, damau, and hurka are used to accompany the lyrics of Maangal songs, which are typically written in the regional Kumaoni or Garhwali dialects.
The bride’s family women typically sing the Maangal songs during wedding ceremonies. These melodies were chanted by women alongside the Purohits, who continuously recited texts from the Shastras in Sanskrit.
There are several songs that fall under the category of Maangal. The region’s cultural legacy includes these songs, which have been handed down through the years.
Photo Credit: Emily Lewis on Unsplash
Popular Folk Songs
The folk songs of Uttarakhand that are sung on various occasions include Bajuband, Basanti, Chhopati, Chhura, Chounphula, Jagars, Jhumeila, Khuded, Laman, Maangal, Pawada, and Puja songs.
These are only a few of the numerous varieties of folk songs that exist in Uttarakhand. The state’s various communities and regions each have their own musical and dance traditions and styles.
Bajuband is a folk song that is quite common in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. Women typically sing it while doing household tasks like grinding grain, churning milk, or spinning wool. The term “Bajuband,” which refers to the decorative bracelet that women in the area wear on their upper arms, is derived from the Hindi terms “baju” (which means arm) and “band” (which means knotted).
Traditional folk songs known as basanti come from the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand, India. The spring season is referred to as “Basanti,” and it is widely observed in this area. The rhythms of basanti songs are fast and energetic, and they are typically sung in groups by both men and women. Songs by Basanti frequently have romantic, natural, or springtime-related themes as their focus.
Traditional folk song known as chhopati is from the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. The word “Chhopati,” which means “to clap,” is used to describe the rhythmic hand clapping that frequently accompanies the tunes. Songs from the Chhopati language are frequently sung in groups by both men and women. Themes like love, nature, and ordinary life in the Garhwal region frequently appear in the lyrics of Chhopati songs.
Folk song known as chhura comes from the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. The songs are called after the curved knives that were historically employed by shepherds and farmers in the area. The word “Chhura” means “knife” in the regional Kumaoni language. Chhura songs are primarily performed by men, and they are distinguished by their quick rhythms and vivacious vocals. In the Kumaon region, love, nature, and rural life are frequent themes in the lyrics of Chhura songs.
Folk songs known as chounphula are a traditional kind of music that comes from the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand, India. These songs are typically performed by women, and simple instruments like the dholak, harmonium, and manjira are used as accompaniment. The songs are often sung in admiration of nature and the magnificence of the Himalayan mountains. The phrase “Chounphula” literally translates to “a bunch of flowers.” The changing seasons are celebrated and the local flora and fauna are frequently described in the lyrics.
The Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, is home to the long-standing folk music style known as jagar. It is a type of ceremonial music that is played during religious rites and festivals, particularly when people are worshiping regional deities. The “Jagaris,” who are often male vocalists, performs the Jagar folk tunes. The dhol, damau, and turri are a few of the traditional instruments used to accompany the songs. Jagar songs are primarily sung in the indigenous Garhwali language and are characterized by a repeated melody, chanting, and frenetic drumming.
The Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India, is home to the ancient folk music style known as jhumeila. It is a well-liked kind of music that is played during celebrations and social events, particularly weddings. The dholak, harmonium, and manjira are common accompaniment for jhumeila melodies, which are typically sung by women in groups. The songs have a vibrant and upbeat rhythm and are typically sung in the regional Kumaoni language.
Khuded folk songs illustrate the pain of a woman caused by being separated from her husband. The woman expresses her anger at the situation she is in when the husband is gone, looking for work. A married woman will sometimes sing these songs to remember her parents and the home of her marriage. The word Khuded is based on the Garhwali word Khud, which refers to the sentiment of missing someone.
Traditional folk music known as laman originates from the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. A single artist or a small group of musicians will typically perform this unusual style of music, which combines singing and playing an instrument. Laman songs frequently have deep and depressing tunes and are sung in the regional Garhwali language. The anguish and suffering of the common people and their struggles with poverty, love, and loss are frequently reflected in the lyrics of the Laman songs.
During auspicious events like marriages, childbirth, and other religious and social festivals, the folk music genre known as “Maangal” is traditionally performed in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The songs are said to bring luck and fortune because the word “Maangal” is an auspicious or blessing. Traditional instruments like the dhol, damau, and hurka are used to accompany the lyrics of Maangal songs, which are typically written in the regional Kumaoni or Garhwali dialects.
The Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India, is well known for its pawada style of folk song. In the same category as the folk ballads, Khuded and Laman, which portray a woman’s loneliness while her husband is in war, is Pawada. Love, care, fear, and pride are all expressed in abundance in these songs. These songs provide the woman with the inner strength to deal with daily struggles when she is by herself and without her husband. The Hills people are extremely brave and committed to serving their Nation, it should be noted. They have repeatedly shown their courage during war and warfare.
The Puja songs of Uttarakhand, India, are a significant component of its cultural history. These songs, which are performed in adoration of the gods and goddesses, are a crucial component of the numerous religious and cultural celebrations held in the area. Traditional instruments like the dhol, damau, and hurka are used to accompany the lyrics of these songs, which are typically written in the regional Kumaoni or Garhwali dialects.
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Thali Jadda Jhainta
The Thali is a graceful dance only for women, while the Jadda and Jhainta are dances where males and females dance together with wild enthusiasm. The entire region has a colorful range of folk dancing. Even after a long day of labor, the Kumaonis have strength that allows them to dance. Dance and music are key elements of their life, helping to satisfy their emotional and social needs, with dancing keeping them feeling young and vibrant. The Kumaonis have proven this old saying correct.
Shotiya Tribal Dances
Shotiya Tribal Dances are the special dances of Bhotiya tribal. Some of the popular Shotiya tribal dance forms are Dhurang and Dhuring, which are associated with death ceremonies. The Bhotiya tribe believed that the soul of the deceased resided in the body of a goat or another creature, and they sought to free it. This dance is similar to the pastorals of Himachal Pradesh or the hunting dance of Nagaland.
Ramola dance is a popular folk dance form from Kumaon region. The people of Kumaon are filled with joy when Spring comes. Bards, moving from location to location, talk about its beauty while playing a sarangi or dholak: “Oh my love, oh my beloved, Spring has secretly arrived. Let's go quickly to the valley of flowers to play the Phag together. People come together during the Holi festival, leaving their worries behind and engaging in a month-long celebration, singing hundreds of classical, semiclassical, and folk songs, accompanied by the Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak and Manzira (cymbals).
Pandav Nritya, a well-known folk dance of Uttarakhand, is presented throughout the state’s Kumaon area. It is called after the Pandavas, a group of five brothers who appear in the Mahabharata, a famous Hindu epic. A group of people who are dressed like the Pandavas in elaborate masks and costumes perform the dance. They also carry swords and shields, which they used to act out scenarios from the Mahabharata during the dance.
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