(Last Updated on : 26/08/2014)
Baramasi songs or the songs of the twelve months describe the joys and sorrows of village women through the twelve months of the Bangla year. These songs are popular mode of expression in West Bengal
. Baramasi, going by the sequence of the months, means narratives representing twelve months. For example, the sky is clear and transparent in the early spring, foggy in winter, and full of clouds in summer. Different seasons produce different consequences on the human system, on the paddy-fields, and on the variegated colourful flowers
and leaves of trees
with which the villages
abound. So just like month, life changes and nature disports herself on the stage of this beautiful land through the twelve months of the year. The lead character of the Baramasi songs is usually a deserted wife who addresses the image of her heart's lord, narrating him her joys and sorrows in every month of the year.
The type is extant in Assamese as Baramahigift. Bichhedi of Bhatiali group is often given a colour of Baramasi or Baramasya. The theme is commonly utilized in a few ballad
songs in Bhatiali of narrative type (panchali). Song common in Bhaoaia groups is also sung by Baudias of Cooch-Behar
and peasants of Jalpaiguri
. Song begins in late autumn coinciding with harvesting or from the month of Falgun (spring). The woman speaks in first person about the association of her husband who is away. In this connection, one is reminded of the Baramasi of Fullara from medieval literature. Some other varieties are also available in Mangal Kavyas; Behula in Manasamangal exposes an Astamash (details of eight months) expression. Dussan Zbavitelo of Czechoslovakia has worked on literary tradition of Baramasi.
Actually, descriptions of the twelve months include nature, festivals, cropping, weather and other similar environment in details. Therefore, the music developed more or less a recitative character of Pancali.
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