Dongria Kondhas dance to the tune of Kui songs

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INDIACSR News Network

LANJIGARH: It was a memorable day for the Donria Kondha Community and their cultural tradition when they proudly regaled the audience at Lanjigarh (Kalahandi), Odisha by dancing to songs in their own kui language, on 31st Dec. 2011, night. This was a year after the launching of the first ever Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ with the help of Vedanta.

The normally shy & timid Dongria Kondha, led by Jitu jakasika, were overwhelmed with joy while performing before a huge audience to the songs of ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’. It is a unique achievement as all the eight songs in the album have been written by Gopal Melaka; and the singers are Jitu Jakasika, Ramesh Kulesika, Gopal Melaka, Stephen and Biraji, Dongria, all natives of Lanjigarh & Muniguda. The music has been composed by noted Oriya music director Manmath Mishra.

As Jitu remembers, “We released our Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ on 19th October, 2010 with the support of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh; and after one year we are going to release the video album also.”

Present on the occasion, Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO – VAL, felicitated the group and praised the community for their endeavor. Dr. Kumar reiterated Vedanta’s vision and effort at the overall development and preservation of the culture of the Dongria Tribes in the peripheral areas of Kalahandi, where it operates an alumina refinery.

He said, “The Dongria Kondha community, led by Jitu, has made a laudable attempt in bringing their language and culture to the limelight. Vedanta will continue in its efforts to support them. We will also try our best to make the tribal community self-sustainable. Culture is as important to us as socio-economic development, which has been our top priority.”

The first ever Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ was launched at Mayfair, Bhubaneswar on 19th October, 2010. This was the first-of-its kind initiative by Vedanta to bring the rich cultural heritage, the music and the language of the Dongria Kondha community to the limelight.

The Dongria Kondhas are one of the primitive tribal inhabitants of Lanjigarh, in the district of Kalahandi, Odisha. Kui, the traditional language of the Dongria Kondhas, has a rich oral history that the elders of the community pass on from generation to generation through their folk songs and stories. Dongria Kondhas, under the leadership of Jitu Jakasika, pioneered the thought of promoting their culture with their own music band.

Vedanta Aluminium has begun this unique initiative to promote the culture and tradition of Kondha tribes in Odisha.

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