Riddhi Pandey

Riddhi is an alumunus from Azim Premji University, Bangalore, where she completed her M.A. Development in May 2016. She has worked for a year in Kanker (North Bastar) district of Chhattisgarh on issues of Forest Rights, Land Rights and Cultural Rights of the Indigenous communities in the region. She has also worked as a research assistant in the Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh where she engaged with the Baiga community. Her research interests include questions related to forest and land resources, cultural identities of indigenous people and engagement of indigenous communities with law, rights and development.
In September 2018, Riddhi will begin a Masters Program in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

This video was taken in Gaura Kanhari village of Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh on the pleasant winter afternoon of November 19, 2018.

 

Traditional Karma Music of the Baiga Adivasis

Village Gaura Kanhari, Baigachak region, Dindori District, Madhya Pradesh

November 19, 2017

 

Kaun mahina mile aama amali re, kaun mahina mile jaana chaare

Aeho ram, kaun mahina mile jana chaare

 

Jeth mahina mile aama amali re, dasehra mahina mile jaana chaare

Aeho ram, dasehra mahina mile jaana chaare

*

Sukkal Singh: This songs is about aama (mangoes) and amlaiya (tamarind). In this song, the boy asks the girl, ‘In which month the fruits of mangoes and tamarind ripen, that you tell me’. He is asking the girl this question through the song. The girl responds, ‘In the month of Jeth mangoes are available and in the month of Dasshera, tamarind is available.

 

Darbari Singh: So the boy is asking the girl, when this fruit is found.

 

S.S.: This is related to fruits of nature.

 

Kaun ujaare dharati pataal re, kaun ujaare rukh raayi
Ram jaane mayara, kaun ujaare rukh raayi

 

Baiga ujaare dharati pataal re, Baiga ujaare rukh raayi
Ram jaane mayara, gadua ujaare rukh raayi

 

Kaun sa bowe, teeli urida re, kaun sa bowe kari kaange

Ram jaane mayaga, kaun sa bowe kari kaange

 

Goda sa bowe, teeli urida re, Baiga sa bowe kari kaange

Ram jaane mayaga, Baiga sa bowe kari kaange

 

Kaun ujaare dharati pataal re, kaun ujaare rukh raayi
Ram jaane mayaga, kaun ujaare rukh raayi

*

Kera lagayo cham phera gaon basi jaaye

Ram jaane mayaga, phera gaon basi jaaye

 

Kaun tola baasa, ohla ki har tola ke

Kaun tola base jaam, phera gaon basi gaaye

Ram jaane mayaga phera gaon basi jaaye

 

Salhetola baasa, ohla ki har tola ke

Upartola basi jaam, phera gaon basi gaaye

Aeho ram phera lagaayo jaam phera gaon basi gaaye

*

Kaun mahina beeja leecha maaka

Chiraiya naache lori lori re

 

Kaun mahina paani aawe, kaun mahina bhura

Kaun mahina beeja leecha maaka

Chiraiya naache lori lori re

 

Jeth mahina paane aawe, saawan mahina bhura

Bhado mahina beeja leecha maaka

Chiraiya naache lori lori re

Kaun mahina beeja leecha maaka

Chiraiya naache lori lori re

*

Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna

Tore angana

Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna

Tore angana re

 

More angana dau maandar ke jhoolna

More angana

More angana dau maandar ke jhoolna

More angana re

 

Mandar baje, timki baje, baaje kinaari

Mandar baje, timki baje, baaje kinaari

Naache la aaye gayo, hoye gaye chinaari, tore angana

Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna

Tore angana re

 

Mandar baje, timki baje, baaje kinaari

Mandar baje, timki baje, baaje kinaari

Naache la aaye gayo, hoye gaye chinaari, more angana

More angana dau maandar ke jhoolna

More angana re

 

Koyi kahe tore angana

Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna

Tore angana re

*

D.S.: Kaun ujaara, Kaun ujaare dharati pataal re, kaun ujaare rukh raayi. Earlier the Gond ancestors used to till the land, while the Baiga people used to practice agriculture by cutting the forests. Bevar agriculture. Without tilling the land, they would practice agriculture. This is explained through this song.

 

S.S.: Kera lagayo cham phera gaon basi. In this song, kera or banana trees have been counted which exist in thousands together. Even their fruits appear in bulk together. The song is describing that the banana trees are growing in all four directions in, a circular way. Similarly our village where we live is also shaped round.

 

Kaun mahina beeja leecha maaka, chiraiya naache lori lori. In the month of Aashaad (June), when the thundering of clouds is heard, in that season, birds and animals become flustered. Because of the sound. The thundering of the clouds also serves as a remainder to the humans that their agricultural season is about to begin. So in that season, these words are said Kaun mahina beeja leecha maaka, chiraiya naache lori lori. Our music and dancing stops with the monsoon season when it begins to rain and the farmers become ready for agriculture. This is conveyed through this song.

 

In the end, there is Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna, tore angana.  In the winter season, like the present, if any guests come to our homes,…

 

D.S.: Just like you all came to our home.

 

S.S.: And if we want to host you, but we do not have enough bedding. Then, we’ll feed you, but we will not be able to give you proper bedding to sleep. Because we’re living in the condition of poverty. So we will take the maandar out and spend the whole night and we’ll all drink some alcohol. And we’ll spend the whole night singing and dancing. So in this way the guests also feel honoured and there is an entertainment also for everyone. And we are also saved from getting more bedding. Tore angana bai maandar ke jhoolna, tore angana. Mandar baje, timki baje aur baaje kinaari. So this is the maandar, and the timki and we take some other instrument in our hands, like the chatkuliya. And when we dance together, then your heart and my heart gets connected. If there is compatibility, then we agree to get married as well.

 

About the Karma traditions among the Baiga adivasis

 

S.S.: There is a festival called Dassehra Karma among the Baiga adivasis. The women of one village and the men of another village go to each other’s villages. So if women of this village to go to Podi, then in the next year, the women of that village will come here. If women go first, then women from the other village come in the subsequent year. And if men go first, then men from the other village visit in the next year. So when men from the other village come, then the women of the host village come out to dance with them. And when women from here will go to a village, then the men of the host village will come out to dance with them. The dancing goes on all night. Along with the dancing, conversations take place through the Karma songs. It is like a competitive performance. There they also find their life partner.

 

Singers:

Sukkal Singh Dhurve

Darbari Singh Mundakiya

Maniya Bai Mundakiya