DEVRAM AND GROUP
This is a group of highly talented instrumentalists and singers from the Manganiyar community and they are all quite aged as well as experienced in their crafts. Dev Ram, who leads this group comes from Jhandra, a small village in Jaisalmer district and belongs to the Meghwal tribe who focus mainly on songs related to their religious faith.
These artists play traditional instruments like Tandoora, Manjira, Ghadha and Dholak. They are all proficient in playing most of these instruments put up a great display of their abilities during their performances. They perform mostly as local weddings, childbirth ceremonies and the cultural, as well as religious festivals, celebrated in the region.
The songs that they play are mostly devotionals and contain excerpts from spiritual seekers and saints of the olden times. These songs contain small parts of the teachings of Kabir Das, Sheikh Fareed, Mirabai and Ravidas. A lot of these teachings tell us of ways to detach ourselves from the day to day struggles of life and find our true selves within us.
Their primary sources of income are Jagratas, and prayers that are sung during a number of ceremonies that are held on various auspicious occasions celebrated in their culture. These artists, despite their age and difficulties faced by most artists in the region, young and old alike make for an enthusiastic group of individuals who are focused on their art and are passionate about their craft. Most of them do not make enough money to carry their families throughout the whole month comfortably and face financial difficulties due to the lack of awareness about their culture and musical abilities and support from the government.