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Fading tunes of Dhuduki
The popularity of folk arts in the state of Orissa is decreasing with the boom of peppy Bollywood tunes and modern western instruments. Alongwith it, the music of Dhuduki, an ancient folk instrument, used in songs as well as dance is fading away

RICH WITH fascinating folk culture and art, Orissa has a bounty of indigenous folk musical instruments. One such instrument is Dhuduki. Dhuduki is an ancient folk instrument of Orissa, which is used in songs as well as dance. The dance form attached to the instrument is called ‘Dhuduki Nacha’. Though the instrument is seen in many places of Orissa like different regions of Nayagarh and Dhenkanal, Govindpur is a village near Dhenkanal where a major chunk of the village population depends on Dhuduki to earn their living.


Dhuduki is a rustic instrument with a string. It is made of a medium sized wooden drum covered with iguana skin and a wooden bar in the middle of the drum tied with metal string. It is generally played with two fingers, commonly index finger and middle finger. The players adjust the string’s position by shifting the wooden bar and vibrating the string with their fingers, which as a result creates different types of tunes. But the tunes and the hypnotising music of Dhuduki are gradually fading away from people’s memory.


“We have learnt to make the instrument from our forefathers. They used to sing, dance and act with Dhuduki and earn money. Now-a-days we play Dhuduki and go for begging in the local trains and the nearer cities to earn money,” said Dinabandhu a villager of Govindpur. Theses were the sad words of the Dhuduki players of the locality who have become beggers, from folk-artists. The popularity of folk arts in the state is decreasing with the boom of peppy bollywood tunes and modern western instruments.


However, the only ray of hope for these artists is brought by Orissa Sangeeta Natak Academy, which is making a commendable effort to bring the lost art back into people’s lives by inviting Dhuduki artists from all over the state and organising Dhuduki Nacha and performances. It’s time to open our ears to the soulfull music and bring back the glorious cultural history into the present and let our artists remain as artists and not beggers.


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