Kamaicha folk Music

Kamaicha folk Music

  • Known as the heart & soul of Rajasthani folk music, plays an important role in the vibrant culture of the Manganiyar community.
  • Centuries ago, Kamaicha was used to perform music for the royals of Jodhpur as well as to educate tourists about the state’s history through folk tales.
  • The bowed instrument they played is called Kamaicha that is synonymous with the Manganiyar community. Heard more in the Jaisalmer-Barmer region, it accompanies solo or group performances of singing and dancing.

    Kamaicha folk Music
    Source: TH
  • By playing the open strings, the instrument can also produce a drone effect.
  • Sometimes during solo performances, the Kamaicha artiste sings and plays the instrument.
  • The old records state that the Manganiyars are also referred to as the Merasi. Apparently, the Merasis played the Kamaicha to entertain the royals for many generations and were musicians at the Rajput courts.
  • Kamaicha belongs to the category of the chorodophones. Its body is carved from a single piece of wood belonging to a seasoned mango tree.
  • The basic structure is first carved out by the master craftsman.
  • The round, big belly is the resonator, spherical in shape. It produces a warm tone and is covered with goat skin. This extends to the neck and the fingerboard. An ivory strip is fixed over the wood of the neck to protect it from getting worn out due to the sliding of the left hand fingers.
  • In the fingerboard, which is fretless, are embedded pearl studs in the shape of flowers as an embellishment.
  • Kamaicha consists of 17 strings, of which three are the main ones.
    • They are prepared from the goat’s intestine called Roda and Joda.
    • The other 14 strings are called Jhara, out of which five are made of copper while the rest are made of steel wire. The main strings are thicker compared to the sympathetic strings.
    • These strings pass over a thin bridge, which is long and made from the sheesham wood. The strings are tied to the pegs. The sympathetic strings are placed along with the main ones.
    • The performer produces the rhythmic effects on these strings.
    • The pitch of the string is sometimes changed by rubbing the finger nails against the string. Occasionally the strings are pulled too. Three fingers of the left hand – the index, middle and the ring fingers – play the notes and the finger nails are used for sliding.

Source: TH

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