National Ghumura Research Center at Bhawanipatna

May 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

To
Shri Naveen Patnaik, Honorable Chief Minister of Orissa
Smt Ambika Soni, Honorable Minister of Culture & Toursm

CC
Smt Pratibha Patil, Honorable President of India
Dr Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister of India
Media

Dear honorable Shri Patnaik and Smt Soni,
Research work by Dr Dolagobinda Bisi, Jayanta Kumar Behera, Parameswar
Mund, Dr Mahendra Mishra, Dr Dasarathi Achraya, Gopinath Mohanty, etc
[1-2] quite unique and distinct in terms of popular culture of Orissa
region, one of the researcher has mentioned that among the districts
in Orissa, probably Kalahandi could be one of the district having more
number of different dance forms (comprising tribal and non-tribal
dances such as Ghumura, Banabadi dance, Dongira Kondh dance, Dalkhai,
Rasarkeli, Dhab, Dhimsa dance, Butia Kondh dance, Gan dance, Paraja
dance, Madal dance etc) compared to any other single district in
Orissa.

Even many such researchers think Ghumra has not got equal status like
Chau in the national level. After Odishi and Sambalpuri Dance, Ghumura
is one of the most sought dance form in Orissa. Though it is thought
to be a popular was dance in ancient India, its identity is still
hidden in the village level in one of the backward pockets of India
comprising South Western Orissa, Northern Andhra Pradesh and Eastern
Chhattisgarh, more popularly confined to KBK-Kandhamal region.
Researchers [1] point out origin of Ghumura dance is related to
mythological days of Ramayana where it was used as an instrument for
warrior music by Ravana. It is depicted in Sarala Das’s Purana [2].
Ghumura was also mentioned as an instrument for warrior music/dance
form in ancient and medieval period by various kings & kingdoms.

Later on it has evolved from a war dance to a dance form for cultural
and social activities. The dance is associated with social
entertainment, relaxation, love, devotion and friendly brotherhood
among all class, creed and religion in the present days. Traditionally
this dance is also associated with Nuakhai and Dasahara celebration in
many parts of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Although dress code of Ghumura resembles more like a tribal dance,
researchers argue [1-2] different mudra and dance form present in
Ghumura bear more resemblance with other classical dance form of
India. It is no way inferior to any other folk or classical dance in
India and should not be derecognized as a tribal dance as it is being
played by both tribal and non-tribal people since centuries.

In present days rarely there was any organization like Mahabir
Sankrutik Anustan who has been at leat trying to retain such rich
dance culture of ancient time still hidden in tribal and backward
pockets of India, predominantly in KBK region.

Unfortunately Ministry of Culture, Government of India has not yet
classified this one of the rarest ancient dance in the official
classical form derecognizing as a tribal dance. It is very importance
that ministry of culture gives equal importance to this rare and
unique form of Indian dance form in the national level.

As there is neither sufficient funding, encouragement, nor any
national research center, nor even any national recognition for
Ghumura dance or for its artist, this unique and rarest dance is
slowly vanishing and losing its hidden charisma and beauty in modern
days.

Although many artists from various Indian dances have been recognized
by Padma Shri, Padma Bibhusan etc, Ghumura artists were not yet
equally rewarded by the national government recognitions in the same
level.

I urge the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Orissa state
Government to take necessary steps to give special fellowship, funding
and recognition for Ghumura and its devoted artist working in the
backward pockets of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Apart from National Chhau Centre at Baripada, a National Ghumura
Research Center at Bhawanipatna is required at this hour for not
losing this rarest and unique Ghumura dance forever.

For the above mentioned reasons Orissa state Government may also
consider to have a center/branch of Utkal University of Culture in
Bhawanipatna to educate and carry out research work on various dance
form of South Western Orissa and KBK-Kandhamal region (Kalahandi
region has one of the most diverse verities of dance forms as it is
the melting point of Western Orissa, Southern Orissa and Chhattisgarh
Culture) as well as to study culture and languages present in South
Western Orissa (Languages also include verities of tribal and
non-tribal languages in one specific region of KBK-Kandhamal-Boudh).

References
1. Loka Nutrya Ghumura, Edited by Parameswar Mund, Mahabir
Sanskrutika, Anusthan, June 2002
2. Kalahandi: Loka Anusthan, Edited by Jayanta Kumar Behera, Dr
Dolagobinda Bisi, Parameswar Mund, Mahabir Sanskrutika Anusthan, 1998

Thank you and best regards
Digambara Patra


Digambara Patra, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon
Email: digpatra@yahoo.com

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Entry filed under: Ghumra, Kalahandi, Kosli Culture, Kosli dance, Kosli Song, Letter to the Koshal Discussion and Development Forum (KDDF), National Ghumura Research Center at Bhawanipatna, Nuapada, Region watch, Tribals festival.

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