Uttarakhand Ritual Theatre – ‘Ramman’
What is better than knowing your Culture, regional theatre groups when your nation is enriched in the field. Let’s look into one of the very famous theatre rituals of the mountain states, The DevBhoomi (God’s Land), Uttarakhand. The festival or the ritual renowned as ‘Ramman,’ is performed to offer a prayer to the village deity commonly called ‘Bhumiya Devta’. About 18 people participate in the performance and play 18 different characters by wearing 18 masks and do the dance to 18 beats to celebrate the 18 Puranas of our scriptures.
A cascade of rituals is followed during this festival in Bhumiya Devta temple at Saloor village of Garhwal part of Uttarakhand. Saloor village is located in the pristine valley of Painkhanda of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. Bhumichetrapal, famously known as Bhumiya Devta, has the homeage for the deity. Ramman festival usually falls after Sankranti (Baisakhi), a famous Hindu festival, held in the month of April. The festival starts from Bhumiya Devta taken by the local inhabitants in the form of a procession from the deity’s residing place to the central temple of the Saloor village. When the religious festivity ends, Bhumiya Devta presided at one of the houses of the village for a year till the next Baisakhi festival or the forthcoming celebration of the festival. All the people of the village gathered together and perform on the musical tones of ‘Jagar’, a celebration to honour and remind the ‘Kul Devta.’ Ramman is also associated with the historical memory of the community showing in Maal Nritya, one of the basic and vital performances of the ritual consists of Gorakha establishment in the Garhwal Region.
Let’s know about Ramman from ancient time
Ramman was only known in the Chamoli district and was not so popular; however, since it was mentioned in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the festival became known in Uttarakhand along with world recognition. Before 1911, no description of the festival was mentioned anywhere, but later on, after UNESCO’s recognition, the festival is well known and described in various articles and documents. The best part is to visit and see the live performance of the theatre ritual artists and celebrating it with people of the village with great pomp and show.
So whenever plan for a trip to Uttarakhand, do visit this place and celebrate the festival.