World ? Asia ? India

Dangs Darbar

Mar 2009 (annual)
Originally revolving around tax payment, the Dangs Darbar in Ahwa dates back to the age of the Raj and features five days of lively celebration by local tribespeople, with not a fiscal fee in sight.
The Dangi tribals, or adivasis, live high up in the Saputara hills in a beautiful area known as the Dangs. Every year, just before Holi, they flock in thousands to the local capital of Ahwa for a joyful fair filled with dancing and singing.

The tradition of the "darbar" dates back to the time of the British, when the political agent used to pay an annual subsidy to the local rulers, the Rajas and Naiks, for the right to their lands in a placatory gesture to these fierce native tribes. To this day the District Collector still officiates here.

In modern times the festival has become one long celebration of local folk culture, with spellbinding dances symbolic of birds or animals as well as a garba programme and lots of songs and dramas. Merchants come from all over the state to sell their wares and people take a lot of trouble over their appearance, wearing traditional and colourful dress, the women laden down with heavy silver jewellery.
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