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      The weekly markets of Koraput offer a kaleidoscopic view of Various colorful tribal communities coming toghether. Tribals descend from their hilly abodes on the market to buy, sell, mingle and chat.

      Every aspect of tribal life is charming and colourful. But the place of honour is occupied by tribal dance and music. The invigorating dances set to the beat of tapping music of traditional instruments are a way of life for the tribals. In all seasons and occasions, the people sing and dance in Koraput.

Chaitra Paraba is also called Pangal, a word which comes from South India. It lasts for the whole month of Chaitra. All the tribes go gay. Men and boys go out into the forest for hunting. If they come back without anything, they cannot show their face to the women. Therefore no animal escapes the hunters. If they get nothing else they even kill a jackal. Women dance and sing whole day in the streets and in village commons. All motor vehicles are stopped several times on the road by streams of girls who dance and sing across the road. It is only when few paise are paid that the vehicles are allowed to move. Two paise used to be ample. With the rise in prices this levy may have risen to twenty-five paise. A car going to Koraput from the plains may be stopped a dozen times before reaching Koraput. To witness a tribal dance for a few paise is a very cheap entertainment.

This festival begins five days before the Bhadrapada full-moon and ends five days after it. The beginning of the festival is identified with the Nuakhia feast on which new rice is first eaten. Bali Jatra is an occasion of great rejoicing and men of all classes put on fancy dress and dance and sing. The festival takes its name from the ceremonial planting of various grains in wet sand brought from a nearby stream and placed in a structure called bali Ghara or sand house. But it is an occasion for many other celebrations. In Bissamcuttack tahsil a swing is set up with its seat studded with sharp nails, and on this a Bejju (witch doctor) is swung, goats, pigeons are sacrificed. The Bejju then walks upon burning charcoal. He spends most of the three night before this day in dancing wildly in a state of excitement, during which he prophesies both good and evil and pretends to grant boons to devotees.
Other Festivals | PARAB

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