TURA, Nov 10, 2017: The biggest dance festival of Garo hills – 100 drums Wangala festival kicked off on November 9 at Asanang, in the outskirt of Tura in West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. The festival brought together old and young for a three-day cultural amalgamation, wherein the Songsarek lifestyle of the Garos is on display.
LITTLE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Wangala (also known as Hundred Drums, Wanna, Wanna Rongchuwa) is a harvest festival celebrated by the Garo tribe, who lives in Meghalaya, Assam in India and Greater Mymensingh in Bangladesh. They give thanks to the God and Goddess, called Misi Saljong, also known as Pattigipa Ra’rongipa (Sun-God), for blessing the people with a rich harvest. Wangala is celebrated in the months from September to December.
On the occasion of Wangala Festival, we bring to you five facts about this thanks giving festival of the Garo tribe of Meghalaya.
#1 The first-ever Hundred Drums Wangala Festival was successfully organized on December 6 and 7, 1976 at Asananggre, the headquarters of Rongram Development Block
#2 Wangala is celebrated for two or three days or up to a week, gathering two or three villages, though recently it has been celebrated for one day in metropolitan areas. Rugalaand Sa·sat So·a are celebrated on the first day. These rituals are performed inside the house of the Nokma (chief) of the village. Dama Gogata is celebrated on the last day.
#3 During Wangala, people young and old dress in their colourful garments (Dakmanda, Daksari, or Gando) and feathered headgear (do’me) and dance to music played on long, oval-shaped drums (Dama). Katta Doka (talking in a singing style), Ajea, Dani Doka (describing Wangala by singing), Chambil Mesaa or the Pomelo Dance are performed during these days.
#4 Wangala the greatest traditional festival of Garo had been celebrated at every harvesting period in late autumn in the past. Garo people who were mainly dependent on agro-economy. Garo people do not use any agricultural products before thanking God of fertility Misi-Saaljong.
#5 The highlight of the festival is when 300 dancers and 100 drums descend on the field in all their splendour in celebration.