Ghumot is touted as the oldest percussion instrument of the state.
Bestowed with the honour of being the heritage instrument of Goa, Ghumot is an integral part of the Goan folk, temple and church music. It can be called a near cousin of Tabla and Mridangam because much like these musical instruments, this traditional and indigenous Goan instrument also has a beating surface, made of animal hide. So let's keep the Goan melodies tuned to Ghumot alive, with an exploration into the making, usage and other details related to this percussion instrument!
Ghumot is available in 3 sizes- barik, vhoddle tonddachem & medium tonddachem
A membranophone instrument, Ghumot's body is an earthen vessel that is open on both sides and the bigger opening is covered with animal hide. The animal hide used to make the drum membrane was that of the endangered monitor lizard and this is the reason why it was banned, until the usage of alternative animal skin rescued it from oblivion.
Ghumot is available in three sizes- barik, vhoddle tonddachem and medium tonddachem which can be played by children, women and men, respectively. This instrument is widely played along with religious songs, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and aarti. Further, by being titled as the heritage instrument of Goa, the monetary challenges faced by potters who make this instrument have been positively addressed.
Folk music and dance form the essence of many cultures, hence, the cultural heritage of Goa is closely bound with Ghumot. With the advent of modernisation, traditional musical instruments are losing their relevance and the onus on reviving Ghumot rests on the shoulders of the upcoming generations. We hope that this piece gave you a glimpse of Goan history and helped in establishing a connection with it.