The saga of Rajasthan’s Sansi melodies

Jodhpur, Oct 11 (IANS)
In a sandstone courtyard of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, visitors to Rajasthan’s sun city Jodhpur are currently able to hear folk melodies from all parts of the state, including those of the Sansi tribe, a historic nomadic group that has preserved its performing arts tradition since generations.
A group of eight brothers from a ‘Gharana’ in Rajasthan’s Churu district, is showcasing age-old folk music and dance traditions, with a captivating use of instruments like deru, manjira and harmonium, making just one of the strands of the desert state’s rich cultural fabric.
Dressed in traditional attire and ghungharus, the men hold you spellbound with their energetic performance.
They are performing here as part of the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), that is playing host to over 250 regional, national and international artists to create a beautiful melange of music from October 10-14 in its 12th edition.
As they sing ‘Lok-geet’ or folk songs that speak of community narratives in one of India’s biggest forts, the octa-ensemble is reflecting their folk roots that continue to spread globally.
“We learn from our elders, starting at 10-11 years of age. We continue learning our folk music with our schooling. Agriculture practice and rearing animals goes on as well, to support ourselves financially,” one of the senior-most group members told IANS here, adding that they regularly find time to rehearse.
Their Rajasthani language song on a folk deity ‘Goga’ assimilates the royal cultures India has witnessed, as the lyrics mention the deity fighting Mughal emperor Akbar, an indication of the possible conflict between erstwhile local and national status quos.
The musical group, after having performed in almost all of Rajasthan, is currently finding audience and patronage in Mehrangarh for the third consecutive year.

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