No Ho can resist when the drummers beat dama and dumeng.
The Mage Porob festival of the Ho people pushes all — young and old — from their village homes to gather for a community dance. No one stops dancing until the sun sets. The film goes deeper asking what is the Ho way of life beyond Mage Porob?
The Ho people remember their ancestors and deities as the dehuri (elder and priest) offer the prayers and best flowers, fruits, leaves and meat. (Kujur) But a festival is not a festival without a community dance. All conflicts come to an end when Mage Porob drags the villagers to the dancing field. Even a mother with a baby taps her feet to the rhythms of dama and dumeng while holding the next dancer with one hand and the baby with the other. The entire village becomes an assembly line. The once-successful music arranger who is now partly disabled still keeps the drummers in sync with his coordinated hand gestures. The dancing field is that place where young members of the community get to meet and approach their future partners. The Sarapancha, an elected local political leader, also joins the dance group for a short while. The real world problem pauses as buckets of water are sprinkled to settle the dust right before the dance starts. The Ho way of life goes much beyond Mage Porob. The people, their language and culture have seen so much change around since the community started moving out of the Chota Nagpur Plateau of present-day Jharkhand and Odisha. (Damodaran) All that change and the nature that every Ho calls home has shaped their animist cultural and religious practices. The film is touched by the free-flow conversations between the villagers that cite folklore, songs and the meticulous jamming of dama and dumeng, two signature percussion instruments that are seen in every single Ho cultural gathering. (Reichel) When the entire film is shot in the Keshpada village, some of the annotative additions along with subtitling were done in collaboration with the Veer Birsa Munda Ho Students Union Odisha (Birbasa) in Bhubaneswar.
The Ho people are an indigenous group that has made the lush nature their home for ages now. Majority of the community are in the eastern states of India — Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. This documentary is merely a window to the vast expanse of the Ho people, their language and culture. Set in the Keshpada village of the Mayurbhanj district in Odisha, the entire film is narrated many members of the local community. The film is an outcome of a collaboration with the entire Keshpada village and the Birbasa student group in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, apart a funding support from the National Geographic Society. (Rajpal)
|Name in Ho (Warang Citi writing system)|
|Name in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)||/mɑːge pɔɾɔb/|
|Cast||Khuduray Tiyu, Rama Tiyu Debendra Tiyu, Bagun Singh Tuna Purty,, Matai Tiyu Bhola Purty, Santanu Tiyu Sidio Singh, Mathura Singh Dabung Singh, Jena Singh Dibakar Melghandhi Ladura Singh Haiburu Bipin Chandra Tiyu, Laxmi Haiburu Singo Haiburu, Phurmi Singh Sundi Mathura Deogram, Pritam Munduya Cheley Munduri, Buddha Rout, Lalit Mohan Singh Banara and Kuna Kandeyang|
|Country of production||India|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Filming location(s)||Keshpada, Mayurbhanj district, Odisha
|Location scouting||Lalit Mohan Singh Banara|
|Interviews, translation, and coordination||Lalit Mohan Singh Banara and Santanu Tiyu
|Captioning translation||Santanu Tiyu Mangal Singku Sibanath Hasdah Biswajeet Sinku Kuna Kandeyang Rabindra Boipai Vishal Bandra Rajiv Sawayan Sunaram Singh
|Overall coordination||Laxmidhar Singh, Mangal Singku, and
Veer Birsa Munda Ho Students Union Odisha (Birbasa)
|Year of Production||2018|
|Release Dates||30 June 2019 (India)|
|Duration/running time||40 minutes (appx.) / 00:40:50 (hh:mm:ss)|
|Distribution company||O Foundation (OFDN)|
|Production company||O Foundation (OFDN)|
|Camera||Subhashish Panigrahi and Prateek Pattanaik|
|Recordist (location and Foley)||Subhashish Panigrahi|
|Additional sound||Prateek Pattanaik|
|Advisors||Mangu Purty, Eddie Avila|
|Keywords||Ho, Adivasi, indigenous language|
|Permanent media archive||Film on Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/mage-porob)|
|Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR)||EIDR:|
|Summary||No Ho can resist when the drummers beat dama and dumeng.|
|Film type||Documentary Feature|
|Frame Rate||24 fps|
|Captions||English (Closed Caption), English (Open Caption)|
Viewing and screening
You can watch the entire film online on the Internet Archive or even download and share among others to watch offline for free of cost. You are most welcome to contact the producer if you would like to conduct a discussion post screening.
A detailed dossier containing the datasheet, synopsis and other important details can be downloaded from here.
Rajpal, Seema. “O Foundation and National Geographic Set out to Document Endangered Languages before They Are Lost Forever.” The New Indian Express, 25 Aug. 2018, https://www.edexlive.com/happening/2018/aug/25/o-foundation-and-national-geographic-set-out-to-document-endangered-languages-before-they-are-lost-f-3728.html.
Moseley, Christopher. UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. http://www.unesco.org/languages-atlas/en/atlasmap/language-id-1212.html. Accessed 16 May 2021.
The Datasheet Last updated: 2021-05-16
© 2020. Subhashish Panigrahi & OFDN. CC-BY-SA 4.0