Tura: The Annual 100 Drums Wangala Festival began with the Indigenous Games and Handloom and Handicrafts Exhibition where local products produced by local artisans including entrepreneurs of the region are simultaneously organised during this three-day gala from November 10 to 12, 2022.

The Chief Executive Member (CEM), Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), Tura Albinush R Marak inaugurated the Handloom and Handicraft Exhibition in the presence of Members of GHADC, Linekar K Sangma Executive Member, Transport and Printing & Stationery, Nathwal S Marak, Executive Member, Civil Works, Winison Ch Marak, Chief Adviser to the CEM, Joint Secretary Peter R Marak, Chairman, Hundred Drums Wangala Festival Committee (HDWFC), Ronald Rikman Ch Sangma, Members of Nokma Council, and other dignitaries.

Expressing his appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Wangala Committee, he said that organizing this festival for the 46th time is a challenging task but the committee members have organized it successfully till today with their dedication and determination. Stating that the ritual or thanksgiving ceremony after the harvest season which has been practised by our forefathers from time immemorial needs to be preserved so that the culture, traditions and identity of our forefathers will remain intact with our roots. He further urged everyone including the Wangala committee members to preserve it for future generations.

Stating that the festival is being organized here at the permanent site for the second time, the Chairman of the Hundred Drums Wangala Festival Committee, Ronald Rikman Sangma said that the celebration of the festival at the site is still at the initial stage and a lot more to work upon in the days to come. However, he said that it is a matter of great pride for every Garos since the festival can be celebrated with a view to preserving and showcasing the rich culture and traditions of the Garos.

Narrating the rituals of the festival, he said that these traditions are unique and should be preserved for future generations. He also expressed his gratitude to the Central and State Governments for their financial assistance in organizing this festival.

Participants of Indigenous games on the first day of the Wangala festival

It may be mentioned that the Wangala is the most significant post-harvest festival of the Garos generally held in the second week of November every year. It is a Thanksgiving ceremony to Misi Saljong also known as Pattigipa Ra∙rongipa (The Great Giver) for having blessed the people with the rich harvest of the season. The Hundred Drums Wangala festival which was started in the year 1976 at Asanang, the Headquarters of Rongram Development Block near Tura has grown over the years under the patronage of the Government of Meghalaya and nurtured by the Festival organization.

Members of the Nagaland Garo Tribal Council and the President of the Garo Students Union Nagaland Zone also attended the Wangala festival.

Participants of Indigenous games on the first day of Wangala festival

On the first day of the festival, Indigenous Games and Sports like Wa∙pong sika, Jakpong Pe∙a, An∙ding O’ka, Rongma Chilsusa∙a for women, Rongma Desusa∙a for men, were organised. Another added attraction to this year’s festival is the wangala dance performed by students of Tura Government College, Patriotic Song and wangala dance performance by students of North Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus on the first day of the festival. 

In the Tug of War competition, five times defending champion from Rongkhon team emerged the winner while the team from Gondenggre bagged the Runners Up.  The winners were awarded with a Trophy, Certificate and Cash prizes.

Folk song competitions, Rugala, Chachat So∙a, and Rhythm of 100 Drums will be held in the following days.

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