Kamaicha, one of the oldest bowed instruments, is the heart and soul of the this Rajasthani folk music. Kamaicha plays a crucial role in the vibrant music of the Manganiyar community and can be found more in the Barmer region of Jaiselmer.
The body of the instrument is carved from mango tree log and goatskin is pasted on its belly. It consists of total 10-17 strings in which the main three strings are prepared from goat's intestine called "Roda" and "Joda". Rest strings are called "Jhara" in which steel wires are used.
The bow is prepared from "Khejari" wood and horse tail hairs or synthetic thread. Small bells (gungroos) are attached to the bow to produce rhythmic jingle along with the notes. Every part plays a role in producing the sweet melodies of the Kamaicha.
For generations, Merasis are playing this instrument for royals’ entertainment. Even now, many of them are earning their livelihood thanking the presence of this magical instrument. You can easily find a Manganiyar singing and playing the heart-warming rhythmic tunes on his Kamaicha, in the surroundings of any of the popular forts in Rajasthan.
The Kamaicha was depicted on one of the stamps of India that released in 2020.
Image Source: stampsofindia.com
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