THE VAOAIYA FOLKSONG OF NORTHERN BANGLADESH

PART 3

by Wing Commander Mir Ali Akhtar (Retired)
and
David Courtney working tools

 

 

THE VAOAIYA FOLKSONG OF NORTHERN BANGLADESH
      Part 1 - Introduction
      Part 2 - Music and Texts
      Part 3 - Glossary, Misc., Works Cited


 

Glossary

baniya bondhu - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
Baniya - goldsmith.
baooi - tailor bird.
bari - land.
barir - of the land.
bathan - the grazing field and living ground of buffalos located on the river chars (islands).
baudia - 1) a drifter, 2) a way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
boga - he-crane.
bogar - of the he-crane.
bogdul - bats.
boidal - bull cart driver.  Carts mostly carried goods.
boideshi - foreigner.
boido - 1) herbal medicine doctor, 2) way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
boiragi - 1) a yogi/jogi or a wandering renunciate, 2) way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
bokna moisher dudh - Milk of young cow or buffalo, said to be very nutritious.  But drinking everyday was boring.
bokna - young buffalo or cows.
bondhu - friend, beloved.
bondor - a port.
changra - young boy.
changra bondhu - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
chilmari - name of a prominent river port on Brohmoputtro river.  In old days it was a very prominent river port and export place.
chokoa - male partridge (red colour goose).
dhudh - milk. 
doiol - magpie robin.
dokapori - young girl who wears two cloths, as opposed to a mature girl who wears a single-piece sari.
dola - low and plain to some extent cultivatable land.
dolabarirgan - song of lowland.
gaan - song.
garial - cow cart drivers.  Cart goods or passenger carrier.
garial vai - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
gata - means collectively working for cultivation.
gatar - of collectively working for cultivation.
gatar-gaan - song of collectively work for cultivation.
halu-a - cultivators, men who plough.
howda - seat with a railing that fitted on the back of an elephant for carrying 4 to 8 persons.
kala - nickname of lord Krishna (here symbolic name of beloved).
kanai - nickname of lord Krishna (here symbolic name of beloved).
kobiraj - herbal medicine doctor.
kokil - Indian coo-coo
konkura - china grass (rhea) or Urtica river.  This grows wild in various parts of the district, but chiefly on the churs in the rivers.  It is principally used for making fishing net."
konkura suta - a thread made of koncura.
konkurar - of the china grass
kurua - fishing eagle;
machuya - fisher man;
mahoot - elephant keeper, driver, trapper, trainer.  they used to do jobs on a yearly contract basis.  Their working places were the banks of the rivers.
mahoot bondhu - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
moishabondhu - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
moishal - buffalo herd keepers or buffalo-boy.  jobs were on yearly contract.  working places were mostly in char lands (low & sandy islands) of the rivers.
nagor - lover.
naiya - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
puti - a silver colour small fish - cyprinus sophore.
rakhal - cow herd keepers.  Jobs were on yearly contract.  Working places were available grazing ground.
rakhoal bondhu - way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
shadhu - 1)godman or medicant, 2) way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
shikari - hunter.
shipai - 1) a soldier, 2) a way of addressing the protagonist of the story.
shuya - 1) beloved, 2) goad/hook, by which an elephant is controlled.
sokhi - female friend.
suta - thread.
vai - 1) brother, 2) common term of endearment.
veloa - big old owl;
vromor - bumble bee.
vui-nira - weed cleaner of crop field.
vui - cultivating land.

Instruments Used in the Vaoiaya

 

 

Selected Video

Ferdousi Rahman - Jay John Prem'r Bhab Janey Na

 

O Ki Ekbar Ashia

 

A Few Words from the Author

Wing Commander Mir Ali Akhtar (retired) on the on the river Dhudhkumar a.k.a. Khiropakhkha

Wing Commander Mir Ali Akhtar (retired) on the on the river Dhudhkumar a.k.a. Khiropakhkha

My interest in the Dhorla river basin area of northern Bangladesh goes back to my time in the military.  I came here for the first time in July of 1971; this was while I was fighting in the War of Liberation.  We had to "fall back" up to this area, and then later advanced again.  While in these remote parts, it struck me as being a very remarkable place.

I started my musical researches after my retirement from the military in 1998.  I was 47 at the time.  I started to do research on a variety of folk arts.  My particular areas of interest were, vaoaiya folksongs, folk musical instruments, folk-theatre, and war-dance (lathi naach/khela).  I did this for the next 10 years.  During this period, I visited every square kilometre of these remote areas.  I travelled by road, by boat, by motor bike, by bicycle, on foot, by rickshaw, cycle-van, and other locally made public transport.

I have learned a lot, but there is still much more work to be done.  Just in the area of musical instruments alone, there were references to about 40 musical instruments; but have only been able to find only 22 of them.  But I shall continue working as long as I am able.

Works Cited

  1. Akhtar, Mir Ali , Dhorola parer kichukotha o lokoshongeet vaoaiya.
  2. Chowdhury, Dinendro, Grameen geeti songroho,
  3. Dilip Bhattacharya, Musical Instruments of Tribal India. New Delhi, Manas Publications. 1999
  4. Dalton, Edward Twite, Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal, 1872.
  5. Glazier, E. G., Esq.C.S., A Report on the District of Rangpure, 1873.
  6. Grierson, George Abraham , Linguistic Survey of India, 11 Vols. in 19 Parts. Delhi, Low Price Publ. 2005
  7. Khan, Chowdhury Amanot Ullah, Koch Beharer Itihas (A history of Coch Behar), 1990.
  8. Government of Bangal, Final Report of the Rangpur survey. Settlement operations 1931-1938.
  9. Porter, Mt. G. and Crawford, C. S. Statistical accounts of the district of Rangpure, 1870-71.
  10. Research work by Wing Commander Mir Ali Akhtar (Retd.), on the facts and findings at remote area of the Dhorla-Tista-Dudhkumar-Brahmamaputra river basin (Bangladesh) area. 1998-2009.
  11. -Anonymous-, Rangpur Shahitto Parisat Potrika, 1909-1919.

 

THE VAOAIYA FOLKSONG OF NORTHERN BANGLADESH
      Part 1 - Introduction
      Part 2 - Music and Texts
      Part 3 - Glossary, Misc., Works Cited


 

 

© 1998 - 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at [email protected]