• Naga Pounding Song

    The different tribes in Nagaland have a wide repertoire of work songs that not only relieve the tedium of hard work but also help keep rhythm. Songs are often sung to accompany agricultural activities.

    Track Information : This work song is sung by Mon women to accompany the pounding of rice.
    Performer(s) : Konyak Naga women from Mon village, Nagaland.
    Collection : Umashankar

    Saora Work Song

    The Saora tribe of Eastern India are one of the most ancient. Their language is also called Saora and belongs to the Austro-Asiatic family. They are known to be very musical and most Saoras can compose songs. They dance on festive occasions, like most tribes in the area. Men and women dance together, accompanied by drumming and other instruments. Saora are, for the most part, settled in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

    Track Information : The song describes a wife calling her husband in the early morning "get up and go to work!". It is sung by a group of Saora women accompanied by men on instruments - a two string fiddle and a wooden rasp.
    Performer(s) : Saora women singers
    Collection : Rolf Killius

    Ovi Grinding Songs

    Ovi are couplets sung in Marathi and can be sung for many manual operations such as sewing, grinding or even putting a child to sleep. Ovi sung for grinding, by women facing each other across a grinding stone, are a common form of Ovi. The form lent itself to expressions of Bhakti and devotion by famous saint poets such as Janabai.

    Collection : Guy Poitevin

    Agricultural Songs

    Songs associated with agricultural activities have long been a part of a number of traditions followed in rural India. Essentially, they are work songs usually sung at the time of planting or harvesting. They also draw upon the images and metaphors such as the plough, wet clay and the young grain shoot swaying gracefully in the breeze. People give vent to their hopes, fears and aspirations through these songs.

  • Boatman's Songs

    The river and the boat have, for a long time, been common symbols with spiritual overtones. These folk songs are common in states where rivers form an integral part of the topography, especially Bengal. The idea of the 'Majhi' is not merely of a Boatman, he is also presented as a guide who leads you to the other side of the river, giving you a new direction in life. It is the simple and profound nature of these songs that make them truly unique.

    Chhad-Peta Songs from Comilla, Ba...

    Chhad-Peta songs are works songs related to roofing work done in the villages. They are sung in Bengali by male singers accompanied by instrumentation such as small bells, harmonium and percussion.

    Collection : Edward O. Henry