Shillong, November 09: The four day Hundred Drums Wangala Festival and Cultural extravaganza kick started yesterday at Asananggre, West Garo Hills, near Tura commencing with the indigenous games and sports of the Garo tribe.
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 Rarongipa (The Great Giver) for having blessed the people with rich harvest of the season.
Wangala, which is the cultural identity of the Garo,s is fast disappearing due to the impact of modern civilisation and western culture. Therefore, in order to protect, preserve and promote this cultural identity, a group of Garo intellectuals put their heads together and decided to organize the Wangala Festival on modern lines. The first 100 drums Wangala Festival was successfully organized on 6th and 7th December, 1976 at the Headquarter of Rongram Development Block and since then, the 100 Drums Wangala Festival is being organized in the second week of November every year. The festival has grown over the years under the patronage of the Government of Meghalaya and nurtured by Festival Organization.
The indigenous games organized as part of the wangala festival comprises of Wapong Sika, Jakpong Pea, An∙ding O∙ka, Rong∙ma Chilsusaa, Rong∙ma Gosusaa, Tug of War among others. Sports enthusiasts from different localities and districts also participate in the event.