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100 drums Wangala concludes on a colorful note in Garo Hills

 

TURA: It was the culmination of the silvan echoes, the last day of the 100 Drums Wangala, the annual festival of the Garos. The curtains came down to the sound of the drums beating in rhythmic sync to the swaying of the nimble footed maidens, captivating both the native and the visitor alike.

The biggest post-harvest festival of the Garos came to a conclusion on a colorful note with a mammoth crowd of spectators witnessing the colorful event at Asananggre village, 17 kms from Tura, on Saturday. The audience was truly mesmerized by the unison beat of the 100 Drums as young maidens presented the traditional dance while warrior chieftains led the troupes onto the field.

Meghalaya Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Zenith Sangma, inaugurated the grand finale on Saturday as his elder brother and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma could not make it to the festival.

Hailing the pioneers of the 100 Drums Wangala Committee for their endeavour and also for conceptualizing the idea to preserve the rich culture of the Garos through this festival, Zenith Sangma said it would help to showcase the rich cultural heritage and also help connect the people with the rest of the world.

“It is through the Wangala festival we can show to the world the beauty of our rich traditions. Also, depicting the way of life of the people through the dance form is very unique,” said Zenith Sangma in his address to the gathering.

He called upon everyone to join hands in preserving the traditional system of justice practiced in the society and to help make the festival grow bigger and more popular as the years come by adding that funds would not be a constraint.

“It is the endeavour of the government to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of every community by promoting such events because it benefits the people and help in passing on the rich traditional practices to the younger generation,” said the minister.

He later handed over a cheque of twenty lakh rupees from the state government side to Mr L R Ch Momin, chairman of the 100 Drums Wangala committee.

Pioneer of the 100 Drums Wangala festival, Mr Leander K Marak, was also honoured for his years of dedicated service into organizing the annual event which has in time grown into a huge celebration drawing crowds from loca, national and international as well.

It may be mentioned that the 100 Drums Wangala is the post-harvest festival of the Garos, consisting of various thanksgiving rituals followed with merrymaking, music and dance. Apart from the usual dancing contingents, participation by different dance troupes from Shillong college, Karbi Anglong, North Garo Hills, Tura Government College, added more color and grandeur to the festival this year.

Tourist from far and beyond including Germany, USA, England came to witness the wangala festival and enrich themselves with rituals called Rugala which is performed a day ahead of the wangala by the Nokma (A Village Chief) in which the offering of the first hand special rice-beer along with cooked rice and vegetables are given to Misi Saljong, the Giver and Cha∙chat So∙a ceremony or burning of the incense at the pillar of his house performed on the next day to mark the beginning of week-long Wangala festival.

 

 

 

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