Biplab Kr Dey
TURA, Nov 7 - The 41st annual 100 Drums Wangala festival is all set to begin tomorrow at Asananggre village under Rongram block, 18 km from here.
The annual harvest festival of the Garos has over the years gained tremendous popularity with a huge gathering seen every year since it began in 1976. Tourists both national and foreign have been making a beeline for the event which showcases the lifestyle of Garos. The event also sees a huge number of indigenous delicacies making their way into various palates.
The event will begin tomorrow with an Eco-Marathon in the early morning with the three-day festival culminating on Saturday when ten Wangala troupes will take part in the beating of 100 traditional drums (Dama) with women dancing alongside. The grand finale will see Meghalaya Deputy CM, Prestone Tynsong as the chief guest along with Health Minister AL Hek.
The Rugala ceremony will be held on Friday, in which the traditional priest, known as ‘Kamal’ will pour the rice beer as an offering to the Gods.
The opening day will also see the inauguration of the handloom and handicrafts exhibition, a tug of war competition and ‘Masterchef’, a competition based on local cuisines.
Indigenous games such as “Gando Makal”, a traditional form of wrestling, “Wa’pong Sika”, in which individuals on both ends of a bamboo push each other, “Japong Pe’a”, traditional armwrestling, among others will be held on the second day. The day will also see the first round of the 100 Drums Wangala competition.
Saturday will see the ten Wangala troupes vying for the top prize.
Interestingly, all the troupes participating in the festival hail from the traditional “Songsarek” (animistic) villages where people still worship the ancient traditional religion and way of life.