Music of the Manganiyar Tribe

The Manganiyars are famous through their shows worldwide titled the Manganiyar Seduction. Presented by international performance companies their music has received a platform it deserves. Awards and acclaim have followed and so one need not go farther than google to get answers on the Manganiyars. The only subtle confusion that prevails is that the 'Manganiyar' is presumed to be that particular band of individuals that has played in the theatres worldwide and that the spectacular format in which they were presented is an integral part. This is not the case. Manganiyars are a community of musicians - some of whom have performed all over the world. Others still continue to practice their music in their lives as they have done for centuries without ever stepping into fancy theatres. The community, their culture and their history is much larger than the platform that most people see them on in shows. As explained by Mittal in the previous article on Gadaliyas, different groups of tribes provided different services to society and this tribe specialised in music. They follow Islam and there is an element of worship in their music. I have come across this group in 2008 when a small group performed in Goa and again in a village in Rajasthan. Some images from my collection and a video link of an interview with the director who put up the show that made them famous. [slideshow] (More hi-res images available on www.jainamishra.com) And a must-watch video : [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apxg3jI2mds?rel=0&w=560&h=315] With beauty like this available at the absolute rural level in India, how can one not be in love with tribal culture? jm April 2012


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