Goa’s heritage musical instrument- Ghumot

Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude on Monday declared Ghumot, an indigenous earthen drum which was once banned due to the use of monitor lizard skin in its making, will soon be notified as a “heritage instrument of Goa.  Ghumot’, is fashioned as a designed clay pot, with the skin of the monitor lizard stretched taut across the pot’s mouth, forming a drumhead.

Monitor lizards are classified as an endangered wildlife species listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 because of which the ghumot was banned by the state forest department. However, recently there has been a rise in interest in the musical instrument after its makers started replacing monitor lizard skin with the skin of a she-goat. A ghumot was presented as a gift from Goa to Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who is of Goan origin, in 2017 by an official delegation from the former Portuguese colony.