National award winning singer Nanjiyamma has called for initiatives to preserve the indigenous music of tribespeople as their languages do not have any script.
Addressing the meet-the-press organized by the Thrissur Press Club here on Saturday, the tribal singer from the Irula tribe at Attappady said music was an inevitable part of their lives. But mostly, tribal music was confined to the deep forests with little exposure to the outside world, she noted.
“There should be efforts to preserve our music as we don’t have any script. Music comes from our hearts. We have songs for every season of life, whether it’s birth, death, or wedding. We co-exist with everything in the wild. Our lives, the forest, trees, birds, our pathos and rituals become the theme of our songs. We sing while we work, walk, and cook. We cannot write down our songs and so we won’t allow them to vanish from our memory.” The new generation was not very keen on continuing the tradition, she said. So there should be some conscious effort to conserve tribal music.
While responding to the criticism from some corners to her award, Nanjiyamma said, “I love everyone, even those who criticized me.” “There may be mistakes in my singing. But it’s a pleasure to sing. I want to sing as much as possible. I am grateful to a lot of people in the film industry for giving me such an exposure. When Sachi sir (director Sachi) asked for a song, I told him, you can take my song only if you like it. When I sang the Daiva Makale song, he asked: “Do you have any other songs?” Then I sang the Kalakkatha song. I am happy that people liked my songs,” she said in her unassuming style.