In news : Goa to celebrate Shigmotsav amidst Covid-19 pandemic
- It is the celebration of a ‘rich, golden harvest of paddy’ by the tribal communities of Goa
- ‘Shigmo’ as it is called in Konkani, is another vibrant celebration full of colour, song and dance rooted in Goan culture and traditions
- The Shigmo parade is a religious festival characterized by colors, music, dance and floats.
- Folk dances like Ghode Modni (a dance of equestrian warriors), Gopha and Phugadi are among the many dances performed by the participating communities.
- The float parades have, over the years, been a draw for tourists both domestic and international.
- The state government of Goa decided to allow Shigmo festivities this year, the celebrations will be limited to parades in three locations Panaji, Ponda and Mapusa.
Who celebrates it ?
Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival that also marks the onset of spring.
When is it celebrated?
Shigmo celebrations last over a fortnight in the months of Phalgun-Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar that correspond with March-April every year.
Various activities during Shigmo celebrations
- The festival begins with ‘Naman’ that is the invocation of the local folk deities on the village ‘maand’ or the village stage to the beats of percussion instruments like the Ghumat, Dhol, Mhadle and Tashe by the male folk
- This is called the ‘romta mell’ that moves from one village to another.
- The celebration is replete with traditional, colourful costumes, mythological installations, painted faces and costumes of various hues.
Tribes of Goa
Kunbi (alternatively Kanbi) is a generic term applied to castes of traditionally non-elite farmers in Western India. These include the Dhanoje, Ghatole, Hindre, Jadav, Jhare, Khaire, Lewa (Leva Patil), Lonare and Tirole communities of Vidarbha. The communities are largely found in the state of Maharashtra but also exist in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa.
- This tribal community is believed to be the first settlers in Goa. Gowdas practice Hinduism
- The Gowdas are the highest populated tribe in Goa
- Gawdas /Gaudas and Kunbis are aboriginal people residing in the coastal Indian state of Goa. They are believed to be the original inhabitants of Konkan.
Velip people are also considered aborigines of Goa
The Velips are thought to be a sub-caste of the Kunbis and also have certain traditions and customs in common with them. Velips can be found in the forest regions of Canacona, Sanguem, and Quepem.
Dhangars are believed to have migrated to Goa from Gujarat. Members of this tribe are quite pious and religiously worship their god named ‘Bira Deva’. These tribals are mainly shepherds or cattle herders and live a semi-nomadic lifestyle