SHILLONG, Nov 14: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has called for upholding the traditiol values, which used to be an inherent part of our culture, while we promote our cultural heritage by showcasing our tradition and way of life through annual festivals like Wangala.
He was addressing the crowd who congregated at Asang, near Tura while participating in the Hundred Drums Wangala Festival which ended peacefully on Saturday evening as the beats of hundred drums reverberated in the air. Minister for Health and Family Welfare, A. L. Hek, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Zenith Sangma, Parliamentary Secretaries, Legislators, Members of the District Council, local leaders and visitors including domestic and foreign tourists joined in the festivities on the last day of the festival.
Stating how militancy in the region was affecting our momentum of growth and development, he said we need to revive and uphold our traditiol laws and values, urging upon the parents to inculcate in their children such values like respect for elders, respect for the law, “so that we can insulate our younger generations from negative forces”.
Earlier the Chief Minister also handed over a cheque of Rs.15 lakh from the State Tourism Department to the president of the Hundred Drums Wangala Organizing Committee. L. K. Marak, while the Committee presented a traditiol Garo drum to him as a token of appreciation.
It may be mentioned that the Hundred Drums Wangala dance is made of 100 male drummers and 100 female dancers led by their respective chieftains accompanied by the sound of gongs, horns, flutes, etc.
During Wangala a minimum of 10 drums are used in a village, but as many as 50 drums may be used in the bigger villages. There are at least 37 different kinds of beats performed, however in a Wangala dance, three types of beat are mainly used, that is “Dadia” or the lead played by the first man in the group, the second in line plays the “Rikkenga” and the rest of the group follow with “Ongripa”.
The day’s events began with the ectment of Chachat So’a ceremony or the burning of incense in the Nokma’s house which signify the beginning of the Wangala festival, followed by Wangala dance competition among the ten troupes drawn from various parts of Garo Hills and concluded with the main 100 Drums Wangala dance with many dignitaries and visitors joining along with the dancers.