World Sacred Spirit Festival


Langas and Manganiyar Children with Nawab Khan
Learning Music

An ever numerous constellation of castes (jati) such as the Manganiyar and the Langa, the Dholi (musicians who play a large double-headed drum called a dhol), the Charan (genealogical poets), the Jogi (singers of bhajans - devotional songs, and serpent charmers), the Bhat (historians and puppeteers), the Kamad, the Kamjar, and the Bhopa (shamans and diviners) etc. all carry with them a memory of a past when the art of music, dance, and poetry evolved around the hierarchical structure of the Rajput.

In Jodhpur area, the Langa poets and musicians still have the Sindhi Sipahi for Jajmans. They are a modest caste of Muslim farmers.

Their stringed instrument, the Sindhi sarangi (in reference to the Pakistani Sind Valley which perpetuates this cultural air) and the Gujrati sarangi (which refers to a region in the southern part of Rajasthan, the Gujarat) are the domain of Sarangiya Langa (the players of sarangi and satara, the double flute of pastoral origin) while the Suraniya Langa reserve for themselves wind instruments such as the shahnai (oboe) and the murli (clarinet).