Banam Raja, exploring our musical roots

adivaani has taken its archiving work to include documentary films now. Banam Raja is our first production exploring Adivasi musical traditions.
At the end of the day, Santals return to music to become whole again. They bring out their instruments into the courtyard and music, lyrics and song turn into stars in the night sky. Our musical traditions are millennial.
The banam is a stringed instrument. Banams are the lutes and the fiddles of the Santal people. They are made from locally available material–wood, vegetables and animal hide. The most common banams still made and played by Santals are the Dhodro Banam, the Reta Banam and the Phentor Banam.
This video is a tribute to our artists, who have kept our culture alive through generations.


During the process of filming we were able to record some songs by Santal musicians. Here’s a sample of their joy and pride in music—unrehearsed and performed in natural surroundings.



3 thoughts on “Banam Raja, exploring our musical roots

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  1. its a great start…in fact all our traditional heritages need to be recorded…involved in research and documentation of our traditional culture for more than 35 years, as the social scenario changing fast, I felt it necessary to record these great aspects before they pass into oblivion!!!
    In my next visit to Kolkata I’ll make it a point to visit Adivaani.
    Ravi K. Dwivedi
    New Delhi

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