Pune International Film Festival: Tribal ways of life explored through short films on diverse culture, customs

Ruchika Goswamy
Pune news, pune city news, maharashtra news, Pune International Film Festival, tarpa, trbal films, indian express news

The short films, Tarpa, directed by Vishal Eknath Barde, and Tarapa: Organs of Innocent Culture, by Manoj Appaso Janwekar, were themed around the tribal instrument. (Source: Youtube)

Tarpa is a wind instrument made of bamboo and hollow bottle gourd, which is an integral part of the lives of the tribes of Maharashtra.

The majestic mausoleum of Gond king Veer Shah was built by Gond queen Rani Hirai, in memory of her beloved husband in the early 17th century and is one of the biggest such monuments in the state. These were some of the themes of the 15 tribal films screened on the sixth day of the 18th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).

The short films selected by the Tribal Research and Training Institute, Pune, were first-of-its-kind for PIFF with an objective of informing the audience about the diverse tribal culture and customs.

The short films, Tarpa, directed by Vishal Eknath Barde, and Tarapa: Organs of Innocent Culture, by Manoj Appaso Janwekar, were themed around the tribal instrument. The art of making and playing the raw form of a wind instrument is passed on from generation to generation. The films spoke on how the instrument requires long periods of breath control which in turn strengthens your respiratory system. The tarpa is usually played after offering prayers to nature and men and women form a chain around the instrumentalist.

The audience was also made aware of thaali-wadya by tribal short films like Bhangsar-Thaal by Rahul Ramchandra Pawar, Thalsar-Bangsar by R M Jadhav, Thaal Kathi by Vivek P Kulkarni and Thali-Wadya by Pavan Prabhakar Dhaware. The instrument is simple in its form with three components — a thin stick or kathi, a brass plate and beeswax or a mix of coal and honey. The natural adhesive is put on the brass plate with the stick perpendicular to the surface. Gentle plucking of the kathi or sticks sends vibrations on to the metal plate producing a distinct sound.

“The instrument is interesting. In the tribal culture, they play it to celebrate birth, marriage and death. The songs are different but the rhythm remains the same,” Dhaware said.

While Soyarik by Bandurao Vasant Jadhav explored marriages in tribal communities, Rani Beti by Dharma Wankhede was around the Korku tribe who do not believe in caste and offer prayers to the forest.

The film also had a glimpse of susum gadhuli, a folk dance of the Korku tribe. Padkai, a short film by Amar Melgiri, was around how Katkari and Koli tribes practice group farming. Nandi Bail was a short film directed by Rahul Ramchandra Pawar, depicting dancers wearing long and flexible figure of bull or ox and danced to tribal rhythms.

Other films in the itinerary were Art For Life by Sayali Tanpure, Chanki Sokda by Dharma Wankhade, Mool (The Roots) by Suyog Deshpande, The Mighty Gonds — Bricks Of Chandagarh by Viplav Subhash Shinde and Vanopachar Adivasincha by Prashant Kadhe, which explored the extensive use of natural herbs and plants by tribal communities for medicinal benefits.