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Tura, Meghalaya

Wangala, a post-harvest festival of thanksgiving is celebrated in the Garo Hills of Western Meghalaya. The festival is held in Tura, the largest town in the Garo hills and the cultural capital of the A’chik people. Also called the Hundred Drums festival, Wangala is dedicated to ‘Misi Sanljong’ or ‘Pattigipa Ra’rongipa’ which means the Sun God. The people offer their gratitude in commemoration of the Sun God for blessing them with an affluent yield throughout the year. The three days of cultural extravaganza consist of ‘Rugala’ and Sasat sowa rituals which are held on the first day and Dama Gogata takes place on the final or last day of the festival. The ceremony culminates in merry-making and dancing to the rhythmic beating of 100 drums and playing of other melodious indigenous musical instruments. The ‘orchestra’ of men includes drums, gong and flutes, punctuated by the sonorous music of a primitive flute made of buffalo horn. Several sports such as climbing of oil-smeared bamboo poles are held and carrying of rocks is held.