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  • Rajasthan Folk Musician Communities
  • Rajasthan Folk Musician Communities

Rajasthan Folk Musician Communities

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There is a great tradition of popular poetry, which is written under the rival banners of Turra and kalangi. This is sung in groups in Jikri. Kanhaiyya or Geet (of the Meenas, Hele-ke-khyal and Bam Rasiya of Eastern Rajasthan, Group singing of classical bandishes, called the Dangal or taalbandi is also unique to this region. Bhopas are singing priests of various deities or warrior saints. The Bhopas of Mataji wear red costumes and play the Mashak. Dances are often part of the musical tradition and the Thories or Nayak who are Pabu Bhopas, have a female accompanist: together they recite the phad (a painted balled). The phad itself is an elaborately painted work of art and deeply venerated. The Chinpas or Joshis are famous phad painters.

The Jogis were well-known for their recitation of the great balled Nihalde Sultan, Shivji-Ka-byawala and songs about Gopi Chand and Bhartrhari. Most of these musical communities have a rural base and function as wandering minstrels travelling from village to village. There are many other artists as an accompaniment. The Dholies, also known as Mirasis, Dhadhies, Manganiyar and Langas are known for their distinct musical styles.

Folk opera is another field which has been made immensely popular by the professionals, often in association with amateurs. The Chairawi and Kuchamani Khyals, Maach of Chittorgarh area, Tamasha of Jaipur and Rammat of Bikaner are famous.