Naagaa in Sahi Yatra

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Sahi Yatra is theatre splashed with colour, music and excited spectators. It depicts joy, sorrow, ecstasy and elements of protest as well. The “Naagaa” (a tall and robust man with a prominent chest, sharp nose and sinewy arms) are most dashing and they are selected for the role. A tiger skin is wrapped around his chest and he wears anklets of bark. The Naga wears beads of gold and rudraksha (rosary of several faceted beads), tiger nails, corals, a shoulder gear fitted with trident, spear, flag, curved knife, pots of gun powder and a country-made gun. The Naga, expert in traditional techniques of war, moves rhythmically to the beats of a martial song. “Naga Saja” is important in Sahi Yatra. His martial dress is said to be the remnants of a culture of how Oriya soldiers used to dress. Even Lord Jagannath is dressed once a year in Naga attire, in the month of Kartik.

Oriya soldiers Sahi Yatra Naga attire


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