The Mela was inaugurated yesterday evening by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik. It’s Second days events started from 3 P.M. As evening approached the crowd of visitors swelled to have or glimpse of diversity of tribal cultures of Odisha recreated in the stalls of Adivasi Village, Adivasi hat, Adivasi Crafts Pavillion and Adivasi Food Court. They wondered how the man whom they call a Adivasi has as a craftsman has shown his unfathomable imagination and skill in tool making, weaving, embroidery, basket making, metal work, carpentry, basketry, house building, wall painting and the like. Similar creative urge and talents has also been expressed in a variety performing and plastic art forms of music, song, dance in which he has shown his ingenuity and craftsmanship, amidst proverbial poverty and deprivation.
When the darkness descended upon the capital city, the cool winter evening in Adivasi Ground became warmer by the heat of spectacular cultural programmes performed on the open air auditorium by several groups of artists including the school children who came from different parts of the state. It started with the famous serpentine “Dhemasa” dance sponsored by Jeypore ITDA of tribal dominated Koraput District. This is a popular common dance of the Paroja, Gadaba and Bhumia tribe performed during various festive and ceremonial occasions based on the principle of “corps-de-ballet” with the tallest dancer standing and the head of the serpent and leading the dance and the smallest one at the tail. During festive occasions like “Chait Parab” this dance is performed without break for several days and nights with the exhausted dancers retiring and fresh ones filling the gaps. The 2 nd items was the bison-horn Koya dance of Malkangiri where the dancers are cynosure for their attractive and colourful costumes and distinguished style of dancing. Next was the turn of a great north Odisha tribe called Munda. The unique feature of their dance was their heavy percussion instruments like “Madal”, “Nagara” etc. The spectators wondered how they could play such instruments with ease. Their dance was equally attractive as their male and female dancers looked gorgeous and they forgot the world outside while dancing. They were sponsored by Champua, ITDA.
Other cultural items of the evening were dances performed by school children of Residential Sevashram of Sindhiguda, in K. Gumma block of Malkangiri district, Niladriprasad Sevasharm school of Khurda district, Dhap dance of the Kandhas of Bolangiri district and tribal folk dance “Dhemsa” performed by the students of Umuri Ashram School of Jeypore. These are based upon regional tribal folk traditions of Odisha but fortified with some modernity showing the changing horizons of tribal culture.
The visitors got entertainment of different kind to their hearts content.
In the Adivasi Hat the business was brisk. Among the visitors there were overseas visitors who got a taste of exotic tribal culture which has underlying unity amidst diversity.
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