Ground set for Adivasi Mela - Capital gears up for a rendezvous with tribal lifestyle

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By CHANDRIMA MAITRA
  • Published 24.01.12
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Bhubaneswar, Jan. 23: The Adivasi Exhibition Ground is all set to turn into a mini village.

The venue is being decked up for the annual Adivasi Mela that starts on January 26. Everything that gives a perfect glimpse of Odisha’s tribal life and culture is being used to decorate the venue.

The annual event began in 1951 in Cuttack. However, since 1982 it is being held in Bhubaneswar. The fair marks its 30th year in the capital this season. Sixty-two tribes coming from almost all the districts of the state will give a taste of their tradition to the residents of the capital during the fair.

One of the major attractions of the fair has always been the graphic representation of tribal lifestyle.

This year, the tribes are constructing an exact replica of their hamlet on the fair ground. With just three days remaining for the inauguration of the fair, they are working overtime to create colourful mud houses with thatched roofs.

Vibrant paintings inside the houses, bamboo adornments and barricades are also being used to add to the detailing.

“Every year, we try to showcase and enlighten the city people about the myriad cultures of tribal life. For several years the fair has served as an excellent forum of interaction between the city people and the tribes. There have been several instances where many city residents enamoured by the vibrant cultures of the various tribes have gone to visit the tribal regions, thus, encouraging tourism in the state,” said Paramananda Patel, a member of the organising committee.

The stage on the Adivasi Exhibition Ground is being embellished with tribal patterns and paintings. Even terracotta items and earthenware are being used to deck it up.

The stage will host an array of performances showcasing tribal dance and music that will be the highlight during the evenings of the fair.

The 11-day fair will bring to fore a plethora of handmade products and edibles, straight from the coffers of the tribes. Apart from agricultural products, craft items will also be showcased.

From the famous dongriya shawl, comb and dokra items, wooden and iron crafts of Bhatra to bamboo crafts of Dhulia — everything will be available at the fair.

“I come to the fair every year. This time I will be exhibiting some of the products of our Chandragiri region that is famous for bajra, ghantia and kango,” said Kalia, a member of the Saora tribe.