Folk Entertainment and Drama
The Muria and Maria Gonds of
Bastar enact the hobby-horse dance during festivals and religious ceremonies.
The Gonds of Mandla district perform the horse-ride mainly as an
Boys come riding on hobby-horses
made of sticks with rags tied around the top-ends as heads. They beat the people
sitting around with tail ends of their hobby-horses. Then they
pretend to ride away. At some distance they throw their hobby-horses and
Riddles provide both boys and
girls a good entertainment. But with the gradual urbanization, this aspect of
life is becoming rare and is fading away even from the remotest of villages.
Chhattisgarh, rural entertainers
often perform social satires. Jamadarin and Chaprasi are examples of such
satires. Jamadarin is a skit on the practices of the priests who do not allow
untouchables to come near the idols but accept their charity. Chaprasi is a
farce on Government officials.
The Adivasis of Chhattisgarh are
music-minded but they do not have anything like the traditional theatre in their
society. Only some sort of rural farces serve the purpose of their
MAANCH : LYRIC DRAMA
Maanch which is a form of
operatic ballet is very popular in Malwa. The word Maanch is derived from the
Sanskrit folk-form, Manch i.e. the stage. As an indigenous folk-form, Maanch
seems to have its beginning in the seventeenth century.
Maanch is generally performed in
open air with barest of theatrical accessories. The stage is a round platform. It
is never covered from any side. No curtain is used for the background. Close to
the stage, at the rear, a place is reserved for old veterans. It is known as 'Bara Ghant Ka Pat' means a seat for experienced persons. On both
sides the seats are
provided for organisers and workers. The Guru or the leader sits on the stage
itself. Provision for instrumentalists is made on the left side corner of the
platform. The person who joins the singing of the refrain during the performance
also sits near the 'Bara Ghant Ka Pat' or else gets a place near the
instrumentalists on the stage.
: Wooden poles and bamboos are used
to provide the platform (stage) a height of five to six feet or even more
from the ground. The length of the stage is generally thirty feet while the
width is about twenty feet.
A different type of stage was also
popular in Malwa in which instrumentalists used to sit on a separate platform at
a considerable height. The acting place used to be quite below this platform.
Both the platforms were connected to each other. In such a
stage-design the performers have a definite disadvantage. For the actors, who
depend upon the dholak and sarangi players at suitable points while singing,
will need to look up and thus lose the contact with the audience so vital for
this folk form.