Updated: January 25, 2019 11:47:17 pm
Tripura’s Thanga Darlong, the last tribal musician to play Rosem – a bamboo-made flute-like musical instrument, is among the 94 Padma Shri Awardees this year. Darlong was conferred the award in the category of ‘centenarian’ for contribution in flute-based music.
Congratulating the 99-year-old, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted: “Heartiest greetings to Shri Thanga Darlong ji on being conferred the Padma Shri Award. An exceptional musical genius from Tripura, Shri Darlong has made exemplary efforts for nurturing the indigenous culture of NorthEast especially the art of playing Rosem musical instrument.”
Born on July 20, 1920 at Muruai village of Tripura, Darlong had initial training in folk music from his father Hakvunga Darlong. He was later taught and groomed in the nuances of playing Rosem by traditional music maestro Darthuama Darlong.
Thanga Darlong has performed in numerous traditional festivals of his community since childhood. He is also considered the most accomplished performers of Rosem ever.
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With the advent of modern musical instruments and penetration of digitised music in the villages, traditional art and culture forms are near extinct. He has also mentored a large number of young indigenous protégés in the art of playing the instrument.
As part of his contribution to preservation of indigenous music in NE India, Darlong was accorded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2014. He has also extensively travelled across India and abroad.
Darlong was also showcased in Tree of Tongues in Tripura’, directed by the National Awards winner Joshy Joseph in 2016.
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