Music from India

Genghuli by Biro Gengkhuli

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  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 77

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    In the garden in private house in Longpuighat village, Mizoram.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    Biro Gengkhuli (singer and fiddle)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Mr. Biro Gengkhuli performs Chakma Gengkhuli. Gengkhuli are traditional balladeers and storytellers of the Chakma people settled in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bangladesh) and north-east India. Chakma language belongs to the north Indian language group. In this Gengkhuli ballad Biro describes the place where he lives and the lifestyle of its inhabitants: the surrounding villages, the village market, the people settled from other villages, the river next to his village, et cetera. (translated by Subatra Chakma) Though the performance was specially arranged for recording purposes around 100 aficionados gathered in a private garden to listen to his performance. Even from the neighbouring bamboo houses the people watched the performance. The singer and fiddle player Biro Gengkhuli (around 70 yrs) is a well-known Gengkhuli who studied with his guru, or teacher, Khandara Chakma. Kunjulal plays a Western violin made in India which the Gengkhuli bards call bela. He holds his instrument like a Western violin, but uses only three strings. The original bela was once a one-stringed traditional instrument used by the Chakma balladeers.

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