OdishaPlus Bureau

The 13th National Tribal Dance Festival and National Tribal Craft Mela, an annual extravaganza of Indian Tribal culture, takes off on Friday at IDCO Exhibition Ground, Unit-3, Bhubaneswar. The program was inaugurated by Jagannath Saraka, Minister ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare, Government of Odisha.

The 3-Day National Tribal Dance Festival from 5–7 January 2024, 6.30 PM – 8.30 PM, will showcase diverse & vibrant tribal dance forms from different corners of the country. Similarly, the National Tribal Craft Mela being organized from 5-11 January 2024, brings together a kaleidoscope of colors & skills that pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of our tribal communities. The Craft Mela shall remain open from 2:30 PM – 9:00 PM.

“Tribal Communities brings a unique & diverse cultural heritage. Today the new generations are also demonstrating their talent in various fields bringing honor to the communities. Researchers are also showing keen interest to study & disseminate on the tribal culture thus connecting the unique heritage of the indigenous people with the world. The National Tribal Dance & Craft Mela at Bhubaneswar has become a confluence bringing the artists & artisans of the Indian tribal communities together,” Said Shri Saraka at the inaugural ceremony.

The inaugural event was also graced by Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Commisioner-cum-Secretary of department, Indramani Tripathy, Director of SCSTRTI, Santosh Rath, Deputy Director & Samarendra Bhutia, OSD of SCSTRTI.

At the occasion an anthology on painting of tribal artist from Odisha, titled ‘Shades on Canvas’ was released at the program. The Coffee Table-Book published by SCSTRTI captures the artistic imaginations of 26 young tribal artists of Odisha, vividly showcasing tribal art, culture & lifestyle of the communities on canvas.

This unique event, organized by SCSTRTI under, ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Class Welfare Department, Government of Odisha is supported by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. The event brings together artisans, performers, and enthusiasts from across the country showcasing the wide & unique forms of India’s tribal heritage.

Artisans from 12 States are participating in the week long art and craft exhibition at Bhubaneswar to showcase & sell their traditional artifacts. Over 70 stalls are stocked with their products attracting visitors & craft lovers. Apart from this, tribal artists from 14 states, including Odisha, will be displaying various traditional performances. The festival, is being organized for 13 years spreading a wide outreach on Indian tribal art & culture.

A diverse array of handicraft items like iron craft of Chhattisgarh, bamboo craft of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim and Gujarat, Handloom and Textile of Assam, Manipur and Jharkhand, Embroidery work of Tamil Nadu, Mooj Grass Products of Uttarakhand, Wood craft of Uttar Pradesh, Tribal Jewellery of Manipur, Assam and Madhya Pradesh are the key attractions at the National Tribal Craft Mela 2024.

Odisha, having 62 types of tribal communities including 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), showcases the unique artifacts at this national event. This year 16 tribal crafts of Odisha like embroidery work of Dongria Kandha, Textile and Bead works of Bonda & Comb making of Kutia Kandha etc are being demonstrated live by the tribal artisans at the Mela.

Tribal artists from different states of India performed their unique dance forms at the inaugural evening. It featured Dhemsa Dance of Gadaba Tribe (Odisha), Mishmi Mix Folk Dance of Mishmi Tribe (Arunachal Pradesh), Kahadiya Dance of Kunbi Tribe (Gujarat) etc drawing the attention of the visitors.