East India Culture and Artifacts
All tribes in East India have their own folk dances associated with their religion and festivals. The tribal heritage in the region is rich with the practice of hunting, land cultivation and indigenous crafts. The rich culture is vibrant and visible with the traditional attires of each community.
1. Art and Crafts
The East Indian Crafts speak of dexterity and sense of artistry of the locals. The East Indian states of India comprise of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.
Toy making is a craft in the region. In Toupadana of Jharkhand state, wooden toys are made which are completely abstract. The toys are always in pairs, which are stunning and very original as they are different from other dolls. In Krishnagar of West Bengal state, ‘traditional dolls’ are made from clay, which have been widely acclaimed and are displayed in museums all over the world.
West Bengal is also famous for kantha embroidery and weaving cotton sarees in handlooms, which are called ‘tant sarees’. Another variety of silk sari, which is produced in West Bengal, is the Baluchari sarees. The Baluchari sarees mainly come in dark shades like red, purple and chocolate. The royalty patronized this craft in the past.
An essential part of East Indian crafts is ‘mask making’. The masks of Jharkhand are very different from those of Bihar as they are fiercer because the facial expression is overstated. In Purulia district of West Bengal, chou masks are made of papier. mache which has an earthy element in it.
There are many folk dances in east India, with the best-known being Jhijhiya, Jhumair, Domkach, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri and Chhau dance.
Jhijhiya is a cultural dance from the Mithila region. Jhijhiya is mostly performed at time of Dusshera, in dedication to Durga Bhairavi, the goddess of victory. While performing jhijhiya, women put lanterns made of clay on their head and they balance it while they dance.
Jhumair is a folk dance in Chota Nagpur Plateau region of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal. It is performed during harvest season and festivals accompanied by musical instrument such as Madal, Dhol, Bansuri, Nagara, Dhak and Shehnai.
Domkach is folk dance in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. It performed during marriage in the house of Bride and groom.
Chhau is a form of tribal martial dance popular in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. There are three regional variations of the dance. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand; Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal; and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
Ghumura Dance Archaeological evidence shows cave paintings from the pre-historic period discovered by Gudahandi of Kalahandi and Yogi Matha of Nuapada district that represent the Ghumura and Damru, among other instruments.
East India Culture is comprised of the states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, and Orissa. This region is home to beaches and mountains and Cherrapunji, the city with the highest rainfall in the world.
Because of the climate, Eastern India grows a lot of rice! Green vegetables and fruit are also abundant and thus are the recipes using them. People, though, are a balanced mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The geographical location of this region means its food bears the strong influence of Chinese and Mongolian cuisine.
Rabindra Sangeet, also known as Tagore Songs, are songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. They have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh. ”Sangeet” means music, “Rabindra Sangeet” means Songs of Rabindra.
Rabindra Sangeet used Indian classical music and traditional folk music as sources. Tagore wrote some 2,230 songs.
Rabindranath Tagore was a towering figure in Indian music. Writing in Bengali, he created a library of over 2,000 songs now known by Bengalis as Rabindra sangeet whose form is primarily influenced by Hindustani classical, sub-classicals, Karnatic, western, bauls, bhatiyali and different folk songs of India. Many singers in West Bengal and Bangladesh base their entire careers on the singing of Tagore musical masterpieces. The national anthem of India and national anthem of Bangladesh are Rabindra Sangeets.
West Bengal’s capital Kolkata is also the cultural capital of India.
Panchali is a form of narrative folk songs of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Pāla Bronze is a style of metal sculpture produced from the 9th century onward in the area of modern Bihār and West Bengal in India, extending into Bangladesh. They are sometimes referred to as Pāla bronzes, after the name of one of the reigning dynasties (Pāla and Sena, 8th–12th century AD). The principal centers of production were the great Buddhist monasteries at Nālandā (near modern Patna) and Kurkihar (near Bodh Gayā). Images were distributed throughout Southeast Asia, so that the style influenced Myanmar (Burma), Siam (modern Thailand), and Java. Its impact on the Buddhist art of Kashmir, Nepal, and Tibet also is recognized.
Bengali is the dominant language of West Bengal Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maaithili, Maagahi and Urdu are the dominant languages of Bihar. Hindi, Santali, Khortha and Nagpuri are the dominant language of Jharkhand; however, some tribals speak their own tribal languages. Jharkhand has accorded second language status to Angika, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Ho, Kharia, Kurukh, Khortha, Kurmali, Magahi, Maithili,
Mundari, Nagpuri, Odia, Santali and Urdu.Odia is the dominant language of Odisha. Odia is the only major classical language in east India and sixth Indian language to be considered as a classical language in the basis of being old and not borrowed from other languages.
Traditional dress for women is the lugra. For men, traditional wear consists of khaki shorts and a white banian. A Koli Christian bridegroom usually wears an older Portuguese admiral’s uniform, which is preserved and lent out for such occasions. East Indian women wore a blouse and cotton lugra, with the back pleats tucked into the waist; women did not use the upper portion of the sari (covering the head and breast) until they were married. This mode of wearing the sari is known as sakacch nesane. Gol nesane, a cylindrical style, is popular with young girls and women.