Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ambaulim Intruzz: Interface between Adivasi faith and Christian Faith

After a gap of around 13 year the Itruz Culture of Ambaulim-Quepem in Goa have been revived by the villagers. Around 13 years back Ambaulim's traditional Itruz was very popular as thousand of people used to participate in it. However some of religious leader criticize it terming it is as anti religious, which ultimately led to its halt. In Ambaulim there are 10 wards which are dominated by the Adivasis who are following Christian faith . Except one ward all 9 wards are attached to each other having their respective traditional MAND ( a sacred place). One the previous Sunday of Carnival/Itruz the feast of the village deity “Our Lady of Lourdes” is celebrated by the villagers and which is followed by the Sunday of Itruz/Carnival.After the celebration of village feast, that is the previous Sunday of Itruz or in the middle of the week male members of each ward used to gather at the traditional Mand every day during night time till the end of the Itruz and on the bit of different musical instrument such as Dholl, Taxe, Kasali( large Copper cymble) etc used celebrate their Itruz. This was with an aim to praise the almighty for the harvest. The starting song which is called “Choren” is in glorifying Jesus Christ. One needs to ponder deeply as to whom adivasis here were glorifying before Portuguese brought Christianity few centuries ago and carried on conversions.

On the second day of itruz that is on Monday some of the villagers used to spent the whole night on the Mand, dancing on the bit of Kasali( large Copper cymble ) and song different traditional itruz songs on the bit of percussion instrument , Madalem( a musical instrument) etc. On the next day that is on Tuesday that is on the last day of Itruz/carnival early in the morning the villager of that ward used to go with all their musical instrument to visit all the houses from ward and used to wish them the joy of Itruz on the bit of Musical instrument which is termed as MELL . That after visiting all the houses the “MELL” used to return to the their “MAND” keep all the musical instrument at the mand and used to go to their respective houses.That at around 3.00PM all the villagers again used to gather at the MAND and after singing song in glory of Jesus they used to go to visit the other wards from the village to wish them the joy of Itruz. After wishing all the ward they by 7 to 8 PM used to return to their ward. This beautiful tradition has been came to a halt since last 13 years. But this year 2008 some of the youth from one of the ward came forward and revive the reach traditional culture of their village .

They with all their musical instrument on Sunday February 03 2008 visited to the different wards of Ambaulim, sang different traditional songs on the bit of musical instruments and wished them the joy of Itruz

There is nothing against the religion in the Itruz culture celebrated in the village . Infact it is used to glorify Jesus through songs . Those who criticized our culture which lead to its halt were did it without studying it or without making an attempt to know about it. Villager elder speaking stated that we are forgetting and going away from our rich culture; on the other hand we are imbibing culture which is not ours.

( Photos are of villagers participating in the celebration of traditional Itruz at Ambaulim , Quepem is annexed. In the first three photo villagers are participating in a “MELL” while in the fourth Photo village musician signing song on the bit of tradition instrument like Gumot, Madale, Kassaleo. Photos and text by John Fernandes. Text edited by Sebastian Rodrigues)

For Videos of this festival click here.


chris said...


Let us keep Goan traditions alive!

Ambaulim Intruzz is an example of how Goans have lived together in harmony.

Good Show!


Anonymous said...

Dear Sebastian.

Just discovered this wonderful blog. I would like to go to Ambaulim on Wednesday 13th of February. Can you give me a call, or connect me to the right persons?

Sincerely Ivar Fjeld
Panjim. Mobile: 9823092458.