Meetha Khan and Jan Mohammad Jat inhabiting the remote village of Bhaagadia in the Rann of Kutch, have the distinction of being proponents of possibly the rarest of the rare music genres in India – the Waai style of music. The Waai style was passionately created by the celebrated Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif Bihtai of Sindh. The first exponents of this style that is sung in Kutchi, Sindhi and Punjabi were the fakirs (followers) of Shah Latif. Meetha Khan and Jan Mohammad Jat are descendants of the Jat Muslims from Baluchistan who traversed the rugged terrain and colossal distances through Sindh and brought this invaluable genre to Kutch in Gujarat.
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As Meetha Khan sings in his high pitched voice it is not difficult to see that it is an incredibly complex genre to master. With only the root note of Dhamburo (an instrument similar to the Tambura but much bigger) as the accompanying music Meetha Khan’s rustic voice travels from one octave to another very smoothly. The Waai is an exquisite form of spiritual music characterized by elements of harmony and purity.
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About: Video by De Kulture Music
If you’d like to read more about how De Kulture is reviving and repackaging the traditional folk music of India, read our coverage and interview with their managing director.