An Invitation to Walk With Tribal Communities and Experience Their Food, Music and Art
Tribal healing practices, cuisine, handicrafts, music, art, all find a place at the annual Samvaad conclave along with workshops on filmmaking, and skill development programmes. More than 150 tribes have assembled at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
Pratyaksh Srivastava 16 Nov 2023 6:07 AM GMT
The beats of 251 nagadas filled the Gopal Maidan and spilled into the industrial city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand as over 150 tribal communities from across India converged here to celebrate the birth anniversary of tribal revolutionary Birsa Munda, yesterday, November 15.
It was also the Foundation Day of the state in eastern India that was carved out of Bihar in 2000. The beating of traditional nagadas also announced the start of the five-day long tribal conclave ‘Samvaad’, for the adivasi communities across the country, being held from November 15 till November 19.
Tata Steel Foundation, the welfare arm of the Tata Conglomerate, organises this annual conclave in Jamshedpur that is located 100 kilometres from the state capital, Ranchi.
‘Walk With Me’ is the theme of the 10th edition of Samvaad, with the focus being on the wealth of wisdom the tribal communities are custodians of. It is to provide them with a platform to share these and discuss and hold conversations on matters important to their lives.
Tribal healing practices, cuisine, handicrafts, music, art, all find a place at the conclave along with workshops on movie making, discussions on employment and skill development and so on. The programmes are spread out over several venues in the city.
Sanjeeb Munda, a 35-year-old resident of Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand, is a nagada player. He has been part of Samvaad for five years now, he said.
Munda played the show nagada with dexterity and explained what each beat was for. “There are some rhythms that are to welcome the bride and groom after their wedding, there are war beats, there are rhythms that celebrate the harvest…,” he said. “I like the support and respect I get in this event,” Munda told Gaon Connection.
Not too far from Munda stood Chhotroy Tudu and his companions from Bhaidan village in Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. Hung around their necks were the impressive Sakwa made out of the horn of a yak species found in and around Similipal in the state.
The Sakwa is a wind instrument played like a trumpet or a bugle, and is played at the beginning of auspicious functions and happy celebrations.
“I learnt to play this instrument when I was 15-years-old. My Sakwa has been in my family for about 150 years. My ancestors also played it so it’s priceless to me. Nowadays, this Sakwa is not even available for one to buy. I keep it polished and in good condition by polishing it with mustard oil,” Tudu told Gaon Connection.
While music and dance will continue over the next few days, Samvaad will also launch 30 original works of tribal literature, art and music.
Also, 300 alumni from Tata Steel Foundation’s tribal leadership programme will come together for their first ever reunion and share their experiences and learnings with the tribal communities.
In matters of cuisine, 125 tribal home cooks from across 17 tribes from 12 states are participating in the event and demonstrating their culinary culture.
They will also learn from a young cadre of the Hotelier Development Programme of Indian hotels who will work with them for almost a month and train them.
Samvaad will also explore ways to nurture and uphold the unique identity of tribal communities.
If you are in or around Jamshedpur, please visit Gopal Maidan where you can meet members of various tribal communities right from Ladakh to Tamil Nadu. You can also indulge in their traditional cuisine and take home their unique handicraft items.