Friday, September 22, 2023

Tribals gear up for harvest festival �Tusu�, preparations in full swing

Himalayan Paths

Jamshedpur : The tribals in and around the city are gearing up to celebrate Tusu, the harvest festival, with traditional fanfare and gaiety. Various social and cultural organisations are preparing to organise Tusu Mahotsav at places like Domuhani, Sonari (the meeting point of Subarnarekha and Kharkai) and Itagarh on January 14 and 15.

Hundreds of people, especially tribals, would assemble there to take part in the annual celebrations. Various tribal groups would carry the idol of Goddess Tusu for immersion. The mela at Sonari, one of the oldest in the city, draws the maximum crowd. It is famous for organising traditional events with festivities.

“Melas are a traditional part of Tusu. It is organised with an aim to bring the traditional tribal culture and tribal artisans to the limelight. We have also planned a number of contests during the mela,” said Dikuram Manjhi, president, organising committee, Tusu Mela Samiti, Itagarh.

The annual Tusu mela at Gopal Maidan also turns out to be a jamboree of tribal artistes and performers not only from Jharkhand but also from neighbouring states like Odisha and Bengal.

People start flocking in groups from the morning carrying their Tusu idols and the choudal. The annual mela that is organised by Jharkhand Ekta Manch at Gopal Maidan is also one of the most sought after fair. People from different places came to the Tusu mela in large numbers.

The festive look of Gopal Maidan attracts one and all. While one side of the field a dozen-odd giant Tusu idols are lined up on the other hand the towering choudals adorn the other side of the field. Made out of hay and bamboo sticks, the choudal is an elongated structure like a temple with figures of tribal deities on it.

“Traditionally, groups of artistes and performers from rural areas visit different Tusu melas and participate in competitions for the best idol or best decorated choudals,” said a member of the organising committee. Prizes in galore would distributed to the winners of the competitions.

he young girls prepare the idols of Goddess Tusu with clay and later go to a nearby river where they then sanctify themselves by taking a dip. After taking a bath, the females start praising the Goddess by singing various local songs. These very songs are known as Tusu in Bengal. A plate of rice is also offered to the deity on the occasion, Mahato said.

“Tusu Parab in Bengal does not involve any kind of musical apparatus as such and is enriched by vocal variations only. Having a rich and religious significance, Tusu Parab acts as a medium of devotional expression of the girls”, he added.

Makar Sankranti depicts the auspicious harvest season of the rural Bengal. The girls of every peasant family participate in Tusu Parab with the hope that the Goddess will shower holy bless on her.

Anand Mahato said, ‘Melas’ are a traditional part of Tusu organised with an aim to bring the traditional tribal culture and tribal artisans to the limelight.

On this auspicious eve various tribal groups carries the idol of Goddess Tusu for immersion. The outlook of the festival attracts lot of people and dozen-odd giant Tusu idols-towering choudals-an elongated structure like a temple with figures of tribal deities on it, line up for immersion.

The festival is basically celebrated as a harvest carnival, with traditional fanfare, he said.

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