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7 Santal and Tribal Musical Instruments

Dance and music instruments have been a part of the tribal community since time immemorial. Indian tribal dance and music is tuned with the idea of the event whether it is social or ceremonial. The three most quintessential instruments in tribal music are two sorts of drums, one is called Tumda and the other Tamak, other than Tiriao or flute. The Tumda is a twofold drum looking like a frustum, the drum skins at left and right are made of animal skins. The one at the left has greater perimeter than the other. The Tamak has a hemispherical shape, with a more extensive outline and is played by two drum sticks. Tiriao or essentially a bansuri is a bamboo made melodic instrument with five gaps. Some of the most used tribal instruments of India are described here.

Tirio: The instrument, most used by the Santal tribe, is bamboo flute with seven gaps. It is seen as an images of adoration and enticement.

Dhodro banam: This is a bowed instrument cut out of a solitary log of wood of a tree which, as indicated by Santal story, grew out of the tissue of a person. It comprises of a stomach (lac) secured with a creature skin on which rests the extension (sadam, lit, horse), a chest (korom), a short neck (hotok) and a head (bohok) which is regularly flawlessly cut in the state of a human head, or of creatures. If the shape is a head, the tuning peg is embedded in the ear (lutur), and the gut string turns out the mouth.

Phet banam: It is a fretless stringed instrument with three or four strings. The bended paunch of the instrument is totally secured by animal hide.

Tumdak: Tumdak is otherwise called madol, is a trustworthy drum with a body of brunt mud. The two heads the left one more extensive than the former are secured by bullock skin and are beaten by the left and right hand.

Tamak: This is a bowl moulded pot drum. Its body is made of thin metal sheets, secured by bullock hide and beaten by a couple of sticks.

Junko: It is the lower leg chimes, which are fixed to the feet of artists from where they deliver rhythmical sounds.

Singa: Singa is an S-formed breeze instrument played in sets in weddings. Made of metal of copper, it is typically developed in the three penetrates with mouthpiece at the blowing end and a conic opening at the other.

The tribal melodies likewise have comparative assortment like their dance, for the Santali tribe, the word for tune is “Sereng”. For the most part, their singing goes with dancing, however there are a few tunes which do exclude dance. The most common tribal dance form is a gathering of ladies with interlocked hands shaping a half circle, encompassing a moderately littler gathering of male percussionists at the inside. This sort of melody is sung amid the sowing of paddy. The “Gam Sereng” is another kind of melody which is sung in sweltering summer evenings.

This article was featured in October 2017 issue:

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