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Goan Manndo And The Subtle Art of Standing & Maintaining Order

Goan Folk Art is well-known all over the world even many of the Indian movie songs are composed on the Goan folks’ arts, there are a variety of folks arts exists in Goa some of them are getting extinct due to a number reason. Goan Manndo is one such people artwork which is a musical form that developed at some stage in the 19th and 20th century amongst Catholics of Goa.  
 
It represents the meeting point of Indian and western musical traditions. The men put on formal coats, displaying Portuguese influence, whilst girls put on a special Indian costume (bazu torop or pano baju).  
 
The ceremonial torhop-baz worn at some stage in the mando dance was once of velvet or silk, red, blue or inexperienced in colour, embroidered with gold (rarely with silver) threads.  
 
A white or blue scarf used to be worn. The socks had to be white and the slippers ornamented. This was once all graced with a fan, which enhanced the lady’s mood with a secret attraction for the duration of the dance. Nowadays mandos are highlighted with their dance respective of their song.

Image Source: goaprism.com 

The plural of manddo in Konkani is mande. The foremost theme of Goan manndos is love, the minor ones being historic narratives, criticism in opposition to exploitation and social injustice, and political resistance in the course of the Portuguese presence in Goa. With grace in voice attraction in costumes the performances are enhanced. 

The accent in Konkani is almost always on the last syllable. The dialect used in the classical manndos is the Bambonn Saxtti of Salcete, particularly as spoken in the villages of Benaulim, Curtorim, Loutolim, Chinchinim, Assolna, Betul,Velim, Cuncolim, Navelim and Raia, where most of them originated.  
 
It is the most musical of the Konkani dialects with its consistent use of elisions. One of the characteristics of this dialect is that words are stretched out in pronunciation with the addition of an extra vowel sound either in the middle of the words or at the end epenthesis. Thus, the word dista (saw) is lengthened to disota and sanddlear into sanddilear. The suffixes –i and –o is commonly used to add an extra syllable to a line. Thus larar (waves) becomes larari and neketr (stars) becomes neketro. The full sound -o- is softened in this dialect. Thus, roddonk becomes roddunk, mozo becomes muzo. The possessive pronouns in the mando have the Salcete form, as tugel´lem for tujem, mugel´lem for mujem or mojem. Shorter forms are derived when the music needs to cut off a syllable, e.g., tuj´ kodden (koddem) instead of tuje koddem and mak´ naka instead of maka naka. Not only do the phonetics correspond to the Salcete dialect but also words like masoli (masli) for “fish” instead of nishtem, e.g., “Dongrari fulo nam, doriant masli pun nam”. The Brahmins address a girl or a woman with “rê” instead of “gô” and use the pronoun “ti” instead of “tem”. 

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The Goan manndo is mostly a monologue, in the first person singular or plural, except for the historical narratives.  
 
In some mandos, however, one person addresses another, who in turn replies. Singing is accompanied by gentle turning sideways to the rhythm, thus creating both a visual and auditory performance. The first manndo is thought to have been written down around 1840. However, this beautiful form of singing has a tradition that can be traced back much further than that.  
 
Although the manndo cannot strictly be classified as traditional folk song form; it has been established in Goa for many a year. 

The mando is very popular among the Christian community in Goa. In the grandest of traditions, the mando-singer was invited specially on occasion of a wedding or some grand celebration. There he would often compose special mandos in honour of the bridal couple, whose qualities were described in detail in the mando. 

Expert musicologists opine that the dhulpad, a part of the mando, with a very quick tempo, came into general use first and the mando with the medium tempo later. The dhulpad was sung simply as a relaxation to the sole accompaniment of the ghumat (traditional Goan percussion instrument); the violin and the guitar which are now regular components were incorporated later. 

The dhulpad has its roots in Goan folk music and the mando as a whole has evolved and developed from these traditional folk music roots. The mando-dhulpad singing thus has the original nature of folk songs from Goa but has evolved with the music brought by the Portuguese. 

The lovely mixture of Goan folk music and Church music that makes up the mando is still very popular in Goa. There is a special Mando festival held every year which attracts a large number of entries from all over the state along with appreciating audiences. 

THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD MANDDO  

Since not a single Composer left behind any regulations and codifications of the outstanding features and the blending charm of the MANDDO which came to us from generation to generation through oral traditions, the opinions about the ETYMOLOGY of the word MANDDO differ greatly according to the thinking of the interpreters.  

According to the traditional interpretation coming down verbally through the ages, our ancestors had described the identical as derived from the KONKANI phrases “MANDD”- (standing or sitting collectively to see some incredible display)- and “MANDDOP”- (to be or to maintain up in order for a specific purpose)-. This appears to be authentic as in the instances long past by, the MANDDO was once a ‘must’ for a bride on her wedding ceremony day and to see her singing and to hear her voice as nicely as the expressly composed LYRICS, all the guests, the inmates of the residence barring exceptions of age, sex and occupations, used to sit down attentively all round in the corridor in an orderly manner so as to be capable to have a full view of the bride and of the accompaniments. These two carefully associated phrases MANDD and MANDDOP appear to supply start to the word MANDDO. 

Some interpreters give the reason why single ‘D’ was used by the composers. It could be that composers of Manddo were Portuguese speaking people from Loutolim,Raia, Curtorim and Benaulim, and in Portuguese language there is no double “DD” but only single “D”. As they could not pronounce Manddo with double ‘DD’, they used only single ‘D’ as in Mando.   

Most of the contributions to the mando came from Curtorim, Loutolim and Raia. In absence of multimedia in those days, mandos were developed as a vehicle of political expression based on political turmoil. The dialect used in the classical manndos is the Bambonn Saxtti of Salcete. In olden days, mando dance was the exclusive cultural property and entertainment of elite Brahmin Saxttikars, which was restricted to their palatial homes and drawing halls. Today mandos and dulpods have been assimilated by the larger society and they are singing on occasions such as ‘Ros ceremony’, weddings and get-togethers. For the last many years, the Department of Art and Culture and Kala Academy are sponsoring mando competitions annually which have helped to foster the growth of manndo. 

The song and music of manndo are rearranged in such a way that one feels relaxed and refreshes memories of Goan village life. It is one of the most cosmopolitan, socialist, progressive, multicultural gifts of our ancestors. Let us sing manndo for social occasions so that the future generation could cherish its legacy. 

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