Wood and leather musical instruments originally made for the Bauls or wandering mystics of Bengal...
Traditionally, musical instruments in Bengal are categorized into four types, as string, wind, metal and hide instruments. People of different sections of society have been using these musical instruments from time immemorial. These instruments are all closely linked with their feelings and emotions, their life-style, their economy and, above all, their philosophy and aspirations of earthly and spiritual life.
Baul is one of the few widely known and appreciated types of folk music in Bengal with its unique repertoire of music and characteristic accompanying instruments. Bauls are traditionally mystic singers. Their songs are intricately woven into the rich and diverse cultural history of Bengal and its lifestyle. Tradition entails that Baul singers should live together as a community. They may own land or work as agricultural labourers or any other activity but their prime occupation would be the propagation of Baul music.
One such organisation that was formed by a community of Baul singers with the aim to provide livelihood support to the artistes so that they continue to indulge in Baul music and its propagation. Sasha was instrumental in the formation and development of this organisation called Antare’ Jantar in 1995, a registered society, located about 100kms North of Calcutta. The organisation’s major activity is making various types of musical instruments. String instruments like esraj, ektara, dotara, tanpura; wind instruments like the bansuri or flute and sanai; Metal instruments such as mandira and kartand and Percussion instruments such as tabla-baya, dhol, khol, madal, etc, also known as hide instruments because of the use of animal skin in making these instruments.
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