Friday, August 17, 2018
Goa

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Ovi Songs

The Ovi songs relating to ceremonies of a profane nature like weddings etc are very much current in Goa among the Hindus, while they have almost disappeared among the Christians with few exceptions. They are sung by women while applying the coconut-pulp milk to the bride and groom, while preparing condiments for dinners etc. The most popular are those that concern with the spirit of fertility in the biblical terms of increase and multiply. 

When the missionaries first began their work of spreading of Christianity in Goa, they made use of the existing Konkani metres,
the main one used by them being the Ovi. People would gather around a fire or a cross and reverently sing Ovis composed by the missionaries in Konkani using biblical themes and other religious symbols. 

Dantear Ovio meaning those ovis which are sung while grinding wheat and rice for various food preparations  on the hand-mill (dantem in konkani) at wedding time, are sung in Goa. As the women grind, they crush their worries and sorrows in a symbolical gesture. The best of these ovis are found in the villages of Savoi-Verem, Boma and Zambaulin.

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