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Southern Orissa folkpop; the Desia & tribal Jesus sound from Koraput

19 November 2010

Some more folkpop for ya from Orissa!

Koraput, the southern district situated at the foothills of the tribal belt, is an unknown hotspot for tribal folkpop, even in Orissa. Just like anywhere in modern India these days, you can find local folk music in a heavy digitalised sound here and this sound is locally known as *Desia*.

Desia music is the sound of the Paraja people who are by far the most musical of all tribals in Orissa, especially in the Koraput area. The Paraja singers improvise most of their lyrics on the spot and Desia is actually the language spoken by them, hence the name of this style.

Some sounds takes from different Desia mp3 discs, all with tribal ladies on the covers;

Maiji khoji khoji

These two mp3’s were originally taken from cassette (see cover);

a atta

titi tiana

The Koraput area also has a great number of Christians, as baptist missionaries from US, Australia and Germany have been busy converting tribal people the last few decades. Funny enough, there is digital Christian folkpop music in which you hear the steady folk beat along with lyrics about *Jesu* or *Yasu*, whatever people choose to call him.  I got a few of these Jesus folkpop albums upped to my USB stick by the local mp3 shack. (Buying cd’s or mp3 discs is so passé for the locals, they’re all about USB stick listening).

Here an example of holy beats:

Yesterday we left Vishakapatnam by night train and have arrived in Puri, back in Orissa. Here we will spend our last week to relax on the tropical Bay of Bengal until we have to return to Delhi and fly home.

Next post will be all about our Malkangiri adventure, where we spent some amazing days surrounded by beautiful nature, tribal sphere and good people.

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