The tenth edition of Samvaad — one of the largest platforms on tribal identity in the country enabled by Tata Steel Foundation — saw a gathering of 48 musicians from 11 tribes of the country performing their original compositions at Gopal Maidan here in Jharkhand.
The performance on Friday evening as part of the Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE) saw the tribal musicians collaborate with Da-Shugs — the first indigenous band from Ladakh.
“In all, 48 musicians from 11 tribes of five states across the country collaborated to revel in original compositions and performed on Friday evening as part of ROTE. They launched five original compositions. Hornbill artistes from Nagaland also joined the ROTE ensemble to create a symphony,” said a spokesperson for Tata Steel.
The members of ROTE and Da-Shugs were engaged in a 10-day residency at the Tribal Culture Centre, Sonari, where they exchanged stories, narratives and emotions that have found reflection in their music and lyrics.
On Saturday evening, Tata Steel Foundation inked an agreement with Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Festival — claimed to be the country’s largest multicultural festival held in February annually — in Jamshedpur. Tata Steel Foundation chief executive officer Sourav Roy and Kala Ghoda Association chairperson Brinda Miller signed the agreements for the promotion of tribal art and culture.
“This collaboration will pave the way for dialogue, music and craft of tribal communities to come straight onto one of the most contemporary platforms in India in Mumbai. Over 2 million people converge at Kala Ghoda each year and the presence of Samvaad will add more to the prestige of the celebration,” Roy said.
Samvaad also saw the unveiling of a tribal clock at Jamshedpur Natural Trail, one of the five locations of the conclave.
“The uniqueness of the clock is that it goes counterclockwise. Tribal communities believe that the conventional watch we use in the present times is antithetical to the existing motion of nature, set in the counterclockwise direction. For instance, the Earth revolves in the anti-clockwise direction, most climbing plants or creepers grow in the anti-clockwise direction and natural calamities such as hurricanes and cyclones swirl in counterclockwise motion. Celebration in tribal communities, who form a close bond with nature, converge with the dance movements in the counterclockwise direction,” said a spokesperson for Tata Steel.
“This clock represents the tribal school of thought which is synonymous with Nature’s motion. The unveiled tribal clock was designed by artisans of Navjeevan Cooperative group of Kalinganagar, Odisha, while the technical expertise was provided by Titan, a Tata group entity in close partnership over a six-month period,” the spokesperson added.
The clocks, in different variants, made by the artisans of Navjeevan are available at their stall in Gopal Maidan.
The day also saw an artisans’ conclave titled De-Sign of the Times, which divulged the extent of the contemporisation of tribal art and handicraft.
There was also a session on tribal healing practices where the healers engaged in conversations on documenting and preserving tribal medicinal recipes with everyday food.
As many as 164 healers from 20 tribes were present at the venue.
An introspective workshop was held with the tribal filmmakers at Jamshedpur Nature Trail. An artisans’ workshop was held in the evening, moderated by 110 artisans from 25 tribes, showing 28 art forms.