Art & Culture of Tripura

Since time immemorial the geographical expression known down the annals of history as Tripura has always been known to be a land of pristine peace and co-existence of diverse human communities. Nature has showered her bounties on this state dotted with lush greenery, wooded hills, pastoral valleys and transparent water-scape. But the state’s essential richness of life and high tradition find the best expression in its varied cultural mosaic that has assumed a composite form with contributions from diverse communities, their traditions and way of life. The richness and antiquity of Tripura’s cultural tradition is traceable to the prevalence of a flourishing Hindu-Buddhist cultural co-existence and tradition from 8th century at Pilak, in south Tripura’s Beloniasubdivision, to the exquisite sculptural work on the Unokoti hills in Kailasahar subdivision of north Tripura which, in fact, is the second largest ‘Saivite’ site in the country, next only to Mahavalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Besides, the brilliant sculpturalworks on the Devtamura hills in south Tripura’s Amarpur subdivision, still lying largely concealed from public view in thewooded uplands also testify to the timeless flow of a rich culturaltradition down the centuries. Varied culture of the tribal and non tribal people of the state forms the backbone of Tripura’s cultural tradition. This is reflected as much in the delicately rhythmic physical movement of the ‘Hoza Giri’ dance of the Reang tribesmen as in the collective musical recitation of ‘Manasa Mangal’ or ‘Kirtan’ (devotional songs in chorus) of the non-tribals. The cultural activism based on performing arts like dramas, recitations, dances and folk theatre and celebrations of anniversaries of stalwarts like Rabindra Nath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam remain the mainstay but the rich cultural mosaic of Tripura is enriched by many a stream and sub-stream. Apart from this, the ‘Garia’ dance of the tribals, organized on the occasion of New Year festivities and worship of ‘Garia’, and ‘Dhamail’ dance of the nontribals, organized on familial occasions like wedding ceremony in rural areas as well as musical duels (Kabi Gaan) between two rival rhyme-makers on public platforms form the staple of Tripura’s culture. Enriched by myths and legends of tribal society over the past half a millennium, Tripura’s culture including its folk editions now confront a major threat from socalled modernity. Gone are the days when rhythmic movement of artists in ‘Garia’ or ‘Dhamail’ dance would keep viewers awake all through the night.These forms of culture have been falling prey to invasion of modernity as western musical instruments like guitar, mandolinetc keep replacing the traditional instruments like indigenous drums and flutes and western ‘break dance’ push aside the pristine purity of the ‘Garia’ dance or ‘Dhamail’. In this scenario it is the state government of Tripura and its department of culture that have stood out as the main source of sustenance for indigenous culture in all its manifestations.

Bengali Culture

Chakma, Mog and Lushai Folk Cultures

Garos and Uchoi Folk Cultures

Koloi, Kaipeng and Masum Folk Cultures

Halam Tribesmen and their Folk Culture

Indigenous Tribal Culture of Tripura

Jamatia Tribesman and Garia Puja

Reangs and their Folk Cultural Forms

Costumes of Tripura