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Dhol is a percussion instrument made of wood, brass, leather, cotton, parchment and metal. This folk instrument is found in West Bengal, Orissa, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Assam. Majorly used as an accompaniment in traditional and folk music and dance performance. Also used as an instrument in public announcements.

DHOL in West Bengal

Material: Brass, wood, parchment, leather, cotton

A barrel shaped bifacial drum made of wood. Both sides covered with parchment and laced by leather straps, through leather hoops at both ends. Right face is smaller than the left face. Struck by two sticks of different shapes for producing various tonal and rhythmic patterns. A printed cotton cloth is wrapped around the body. Used in folk music and dance of West Bengal.

DHOL in Orissa

Material: Wood, parchment

Barrel shaped hollowed wooden body with skin covered faces. Left face has thick rawhide whereas the right face has a thin skin for higher pitch. Slung from the neck, beaten with hand and stick. Used in folk dances and festivities.

DHOL in Assam

Material: Wood, leather

A barrel shaped drum hollowed out of a single piece of wood. Right head is bigger and has a higher pitch than the left one. Both the faces are covered with thin leather and tied with the help of ‘Gajara’ like Tabla and interlaced to the shell and the hoop at the other end by thin and dense leather strapping. It is slung horizontally from the neck. Played by stick and right hand fingers. Used in traditional and folk forms of Assam particularly in ‘Bihu’ festival. Also called a ‘Bihu Dhol’.

DHOL in Manipur

Material: Wood, leather

After the advent of Hinduism, Vaishnavism became a way of life for the Manipuris. Consequently, Sankirtana, or the worship of Lord Krishna and Radha through the medium of music and dance, became the most powerful expression of Bhakti Rasa. This Vaishnavite tradition of devotional songs and dances is performed as an offering to Lord Krishna. Sankirtana, now an integral part of Manipuri culture, is performed on all important occasions and festivals. The Dhol is a large drum that accompanies the singing and dancing of the Sankirtana tradition. This interplay of drums is specially seen during the Yaoshang Festival, as the Festival of Colours is known in Manipur. During this festival people play the Dhol with gay abandon. Dhol Cholom or the playing of the Dhol is characterized by modulation of sound from a soft whisper to a thunderous climax.