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Ghumot to grace Goa's heritage music as lizard skin row fades

Devdiscourse News Desk panaji India
Updated: 11-02-2019 20:30 IST
Ghumot to grace Goa's heritage music as lizard skin row fades

Image Credit: Flickr

Ghumot, an indigenous earthen drum which was once banned due to the use of monitor lizard skin in its making, will soon be notified as a "heritage instrument of Goa", Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude told reporters here on Monday. "We are going to declare ghumot as Goa's heritage musical instrument in a few days," he said.

Traditionally, ghumot, a percussion instrument played during Ganesh Chaturthi 'aarties' (prayers), is fashioned as a designed clay pot, with the skin of the monitor lizard (locally known as 'gaar') stretched taut across the pot's mouth, forming a drumhead. Monitor lizards are classified as an endangered wildlife species listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 because of which the ghumot was banned by the state forest department.

However, recently there has been a rise in interest in the musical instrument after its makers started replacing monitor lizard skin with the skin of a she-goat. A ghumot was presented as a gift from Goa to Portuguese Prime Minister Anotnio Costa, who is of Goan origin, in 2017 by an official delegation from the former Portuguese colony.

(With inputs from agencies.)