(Last Updated on : 19/11/2012)
Tripura has rich cultural heritage of 19 different tribal communities, Bengali and Manipuri. Each community has its own dance forms which are famous in the country, the folk dances are: Hozagiri dance of Reang community, Garia, Jhum and Lebang Boomani dances of Tripuri community; the Cheraw and Welcome dance of Lusai community; Hai-Hak dance of Malsum community; Wangala dance of the Garo Community.
This is a folk dance performed in Tripura State where the life and culture of people of Tripura revolves around the Jhum culture, better known as the shifting cultivation. The people sow the seeds for the cultivation of crops and then they pray for a good future ahead to their 'Garia' god for a happy harvest. The celebration is attached to the Garia Puja that lasts about for seven days, where they seek to entertain their beloved deity with song and dance, which is also known as the Garia dance.
Lebang Boomani Dance
Lebang is the name of a colourful insect, which comes in the search of seeds to hil slopes before monsoon. By this folk dance and music people attract the insects from their hiding place and catch them.
The Reang tribal community, which is a very distinct community, practises this dance form which is very different from the other tribal dances.
The Halam community, whose social and economic life, also revolves around jhum cultivation, performs the Hai-Hak dance. Therefore, at the end of the harvesting season the, Malsum traditionally adore Goddess Laxmi. It is also a community dance that is full of exquisite beauty. This is a group performance, where the different dance rhythms reflect the traditional & inherited dancing patterns from the distant past.
Wangala is a ceremony connected with a consumption of the first rice harvest. After the harvest 'Wangala' is performed in every houses of the community. The Sangnakma, head of the communities visits every house and cuts a pumpkin as a part of gods worship, which is sacrificed on this occasion for one's peaceful life. After this, the women folk dance on the beat of 'Dama' and 'Aaduri', which is made of the horn of the buffalo, rich and vibrant, pattern projecting the rehearsal for a war.
As the name suggests, this dance is performed as for welcoming guests. Here, the Lusai girls generally wear colourful & bright costumes along with fragrant flowers as their accessories. This is performed for visitors, who pay visits to their house as a guest. Being a very colourful & attractive dance, young girls of the entire community take part and enjoy in the same. The songs, which they sing while performing the dance, are deeply rooted in their culture, in order to treat the guests as a God.
The Darlong community strongly believes that man is destined to transcend beyond the plebeian world towards heaven after one's demise. Incidentally, they think that if a pregnant woman dies due to some reason, she feels it very difficult, with all her physical strains, to go the long journey to heaven. Hence, at the last stage of the pregnancy or immediately prior her delivery, all her relatives gather together & perform this 'Cheraw' dance, throughout the day and night. This is a group dance performed in order to instil confidence in the mind of the pregnant
People practising this dance, strongly believe in their faith and feel that even if the woman dies at this stage, it will be possible for her to go heaven with the courage and confidence. It is performed using the sound of bamboo as the rhythm and if the sound continues till her death, it is assured to give her relaxation.
Way (Lamp) Festival Dance
The traditional dance of the Mog community is known as a 'Way Dance' or 'Lamp Dance'. 'Way' is a name of festival that is celebrated on the day of full moon of the month in Ashvin. Lamps are dedicated to the Lord Buddha, which are launched on this day itself. The young boys and girls stand in rows with lamps in their hand to worship the Lord Buddha, while indulging in fun & enjoyment through songs and dance. This dance is performed in the premises of the Buddha temple and is like a token of their respect towards God.