Goalpariya Lokgeet: Journey of a Genre Blog 2: Genre Description

Goalpariya Lokgeets are sung in local dialects, which is very close to Bangla language. Grierson mentioned in his Linguistic Survey of India, Vol.5 Part-I that the language spoken in Goalpara and neighbouring north Bengal is a part of the Bengali language. Later on some scholars have used the term ‘Kamatapuri’ or ‘Kamrupi’ also for this language.  Today it is considered as the language of Koch Rajbangshi community.

The Mahut songs (from now onwards which will be referred as Goalpariya Lokgeet) are the songs of Mahuts – the elephant herder or elephant tamers. There is a legend associated with this genre – about poor Brahmin couple Jayamala and Jayanath. Keeping aside the supernatural ornamentation of this legend, it is claimed that the story has its basis in reality.

Goalpariya Lokgeets are sung to lyrics depicting the themes of love and separation, work songs and at times devotion. These are often sung in chorus, but more commonly sung as solos to the accompaniment of a Dotara (a four string instrument with three notes).

Source of the above image and description: Songs that grow out of a legend in Folk music and folklore An Anthology vol I ed. Himango Biswas. Folkmusic and literature Research Institute. Calcutta 1967. PP 93-105 translated from Bengali by Samik Bandopadhya

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