Dastangoi: the art of storytelling

There are many art forms which are slowly and gradually fading with time mainly because of the coming up of new modes of entertainment. One such form is the peculiar art of storytelling that has almost vanished with time, Dastangoi. It is the art of oral storytelling in Urdu. Dastans which refers to long stories which are usually verbal in nature and are performed out loud portraying the tales of medieval times. Dastangoi is believed to have originated in Persia. With the advent of Islam, the art form travelled to Delhi and other parts of India. During the uprising of 1857, several dastangos that are the storytellers migrated to Lucknow, promoting the art form in the city. Dastangoi was adored and appreciated by all classes living in the city and its neighbouring areas. It used to be performed at numerous locations, attracting the attention of the common people as well as the privileged of the society. The primary form of dastangos depicted tales of magic, war and adventure. Instances and fragments from other stories like The Arabian Nights and the most famous Panchtantras were freely adopted to enhance their performances and entertain the audiences. The most interesting aspect of dastangoi is that the dastangos never moved from their position while performing, sometimes they wore colourful costumes while performing which added to the beauty of the art form.

Dastangois covered an extensive variety of genres to engage more and more viewers, the most famous being the story about Amir Hamza, uncle of Prophet Mohammed. It later came to be known as the Hamzanama. The dastangos narrated the adventurous events from the life of Amir Hamza. Akbar himself was extremely fond of the narrative and used to recite it himself. One of the first artistic projects initiated under the Mughal emperor was an illustrated version of the Hamza story.


#history #instagram #TimesofIndia #HindustanTimes #urdu #storytelling #instapic #instahistory #qadeem #thingsofpast #antiquarians #IndianExpress #Epic #HistoryChannel #India #Delhi #Delhities


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s