|Visitors move around the tribal product kiosks. Pictures by Ashwinee Patinamita Panda
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 28: Residents of the city are enjoying their annual rendezvous with tribal communities of the state at the annual fair, Adivasi Mela, which reflects their lifestyle.
The fair that began on January 26 has turned Adivasi Exhibition Ground into a compressed tribal valley, housing various aspects of the 60-odd tribal groups of the state.
Organised by the schedule caste and schedule tribe (SC and ST) department, the fair offers insights into tribal life. The vivid culture of the ancient groups has been displayed in various segments such as tribal haat, villages, arts and crafts and painting at the event.
The tribal haat or market has been given the look of an authentic local market found in most tribal areas in the state.
Members from Sunabeda, Koraput, Rayagada, Phulbani and many more regions are here in groups to sell the local commodities such as herbs, tribal medicines, pulses, grains, eatables, chilli, ginger and paddy craft, household articles and even various decorative accessories for women made of metals.
Tribal huts have been installed in a separate compound at the tribal villages here. Typical mud-and-straw huts with figurative patterns on the walls, hens and cocks in the backyard, unique herbal plants, and of course, the shrine in the veranda of the village goddess are catching attention of the visitors.
The 11-day fair has over 150 kiosks, a part of which, offers handicrafts such as terracotta, dokra, metal crafts and many more items of wood and natural resources. The famous Dongriya Kondh shawls from the Dongriya tribe, like always, is a crowd-puller this year, too.
Various departments of the state government have also opened kiosks, showcasing achievements and developments. Every evening, tribal artistes perform on various rhythmic and lively tunes of their ancient music and dance. Some items to be performed are Katha dance, Ghumura dance, Mankariya and Lodha dance.
“We have tried to give the best facilities of accommodation and food to the tribal participants of the fair. Also, it is encouraging of city residents to take initiatives to understand tribal life by interacting with them here and even buying their products,” said A.B. Ota, director of the state SC and ST department.