A septuagenarian saving the legacy of Meghalayas traditional instruments

December 1st, 2008 - 8:40 pm ICT by ANI  

By D. Henpilen
Shillong, Dec.1 (ANI): Garo tribe of Meghalaya is known for its rich tradition and culture for ages. The indigenous musical instruments have long been integral to general life here. But of late modernity has over-shadowed their place and importance.
With the western culture-ruling youngsters minds here, the traditional instruments have taken a backstage. They are losing their special place in general life here.
Seventy-year-old Ch. Rapheal Marak, one traditional musical instrument maker, here is trying to prevent extinction of this legacy with bamboo made musical instruments.
Marak learnt the art of making traditional musical instruments from his ancestors.
Today, he earns his livelihood through this craft and makes non-seasonal musical instruments such as ”Chigring, a bamboo string musical instrument, Otekra, a flute made of bamboo as well as other string instruments.
Rapheal Marak, instrument maker, said: I would like to teach the young generation how to keep up our musical instrument. There are indigenous musical instrument. I want the younger generation to learn how to make them.”
Marak has also performed in various parts of northeast and across the country. He has received several trophies and citations from the state government.
His endeavor now is to pass on his skills to the younger generation so that the art may continue to live on after him.
Banda, a local resident, said: “With the influence of western culture, these traditional instruments are being replaced with western instruments like guitars and drums. With the help of such people they would be able to guide and teach the younger generation how to make these musical instruments. I believe it would pass on from generation to generation.” (ANI)

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