Jharsuguda : Though Jharsuguda is famous for its Industrial presence, but very few know that it also has craftsmen who are involved in making Musical instruments called as Mrudung, a two-headed drum especially played in Kirtans, local events etc.
Travelling nearly 20 kilometre towards Raghunathpalli under Kolabira Block from Jharsuguda. A small hamlet known as Paikpara, welcomes you with the beats of the Mrudung and if you follow the sound, you reach the place, where you can find the six family, who are busy making the Musical Instrument Mrudung and other percussion instruments.
Sitting on the Verandah of their house under the shades made of dried leaves to protect them from scorching heat, the family member is busy with their routine work of making the instrument.
Shiv Lal Banchur said that “We have learnt this art from my forefathers who use to make this instrument. Making a Mrudung is an art and it takes a minimum of four days to make one single Mrudung. We have to buy Goat and cow skin, then we get Cylinder shape drum from local Kumbhar (local potters) and later by the help of plastic wire, Alta (Local Colour) and stone powder. Those stones have a kind of magnetic power to perfect the tune. We powder the stone and make it into a paste with boiled rice to make the perfect circle in the centre. The same stone is also used to rub over the skin until the rhythm is perfected,”
Shiv Lal’s wife, Vrindavati Banchur said that “The main season of this Mrudung starts from March to June. It slowdowns during the rainy season. The expense of making one Mrudung is around Rs.2500 while we sell it in Rs.3000 per pcs. Buyers from neighbouring districts like Sundargarh and Chhattisgarh come down this village to purchase this. We only get a benefit of Rice and nothing more from the Government side. I think the government should support us as we are landless and solely dependent on this.
Apart from this these artisans also make Dhol, Mandal, Samprada type Musical Instruments on request.
Shiv Lal Maakar, Kirtan artist of Sundergarh says ” I have been playing this Mrudung more than 20 years and have been coming to this place more than 20 years. The Mrudung of here is one of the best. It is good so we don’t go anywhere.
Yudhistir Sunani, a resident of Sundargarh, “From my father’s time I got to know that in Paikpara of Jharsuguda district is famous for its Mrudung. It is famous among the musical and Kirtan artists. we have come here to repair our Mrudung. The price of the Mrudung are reasonable so we come here again and again. The people involved in this, if given support by the government than they would preserve this art of making musical instruments.
Sanjay Kumar Naik, Local Villager says “Our village is famous because of these Mrudung makers, several people come down to our village from far of places to purchase these instruments. I have been seeing them right from my childhood as per my knowledge they don’t have any land too and haven’t got any type of government support but if helped they would surely improve. “