Mangaluru: Sahitya Akademi in association with Kavita Trust organized ‘LOKA: The Many Voices’ programme at World Konkani Center here on August 6.
A team of 12 members from the Siddi community who are settled in the parts of Northern Karnataka performed their folk forms Jakkay, Dammam, Fugdi and Shigmo followed by a lecture from Sunil Siddi, a renowned theater personality from the Siddi community.
Explaining the life and culture of the Siddi community, Sunil said, “The Siddis are an ethnic group inhabiting India. Its members have descended from the Bantu community from Africa that were brought to the Indian subcontinent as slaves by Portuguese merchants and Arab traders.
Now the Siddi community is mainly settled in northern parts of Karnataka and Gujarat. The Siddi community in Karnataka mainly speaks in Konkani and Kannada. They have common folk forms like Jakay dance meant for women, and Dammam, Fugdi and Shigmo dance for all occasions of rejoicing.”
In his lecture, Sunil also expressed his concern over the disappearance of Siddi folklore because of the influence of the modern world.
The demonstration of folk dances Jakay, Dammam, Fugdi and Shigmo of the Siddi community with information mesmerized the audience.
H M Pernal, advisory member of Sahitya Akademi welcomed the artistes and gathered. Stany Bela rendered the vote of thanks. Melvyn Rodrigues, convenor, Sahitya Akademi for Konkani, and trustees of Kavita Trust felicitated the artists with mementos.
The programme ‘LOKA: The Many Voices’ consists of lectures and demonstrations to protect and preserve the folk and tribal art and culture of the country.