- 05 Nov 2022
- 3 min read
Why in News?
The opening ceremony of the Rising Sun Water Fest-2022 was conducted amidst the pristine surroundings of Umiam Lake (man-made reservoir) at Meghalaya.
- Members of the Garo tribal community perform Wangala dance on the occasion of ‘The Rising Sun Water Fest-2022’.
What is Wangala Dance?
- The Wangala is also known as the Festival of Hundred Drums and is celebrated with different forms of dances on the tunes of folk songs played on drums and primitive flute made of buffalo horns.
- The festival is celebrated in honour of the Sun God and marks the end of the long harvest season.
- The celebration also signifies the end of a long toil period in the field for the Garo tribe before the start of the winters.
- For the Garo Tribe in Meghalaya, the festival is a way to preserve and promote their cultural identity and they exhibit their tradition in their celebrations.
Who are the Garo Community?
- The Garos, who call themselves A'chiks, are the second largest tribe in Meghalaya.
- The other two major tribes of Meghalaya are the Khasi People and the Jaintia tribe.
- The Garos have a strong tradition that they have come from Tibet. They have a number of dialects and cultural groups. Each of them originally settled at a particular area of the Garo Hills and outlying plain lands.
- However, the culture of the modern Garo community has been greatly influenced by Christianity. Nokpantes are the glory of the past and all children are given equal care, rights and importance by modern parents.
- The Garo marriage is regulated by two important laws, viz., Exogamy and A'Kim according to the belonging to the same clan. Marriages are not allowed within the same clan.
- According to the law of A·Kim, a man or a woman who has once contracted marriage will never be free to remarry person of another clan, even after the death of his/ her spouse.
- The Garos are one of the few remaining matrilineal societies in the world.
- The individuals take their clan titles from their mothers. Traditionally, the youngest daughter inherits the property from her mother.
- Sons leave the parents' house at puberty, and are trained in the village bachelor dormitory (Nokpante). After getting married, the man lives in his wife's house. Garos are only a matrilineal society, but not matriarchal.