Different Tribal Dances of India
Some Indian tribes pen down their songs to accompany their dances. Either the dancers sing themselves or the viewers sing and participate. Special musical instruments for the tribal dances are also utilised during the performances; but the drum is almost a requisite feature of each tribal dance. Following are some of the popular tribal dances of India:
Bagurumba Dance: ‘Bagurumba’ is a tribal dance of native ‘Bodo tribe’ in Assam and Northeast of India. It is a conventional dance which is traditionally inbuilt from one generation to other. The ‘Bodo’ women carry out the ‘Bagurumba’ dance with their colourful ‘dokhna’, ‘jwmgra’ (scarf) and ‘aronai’ (muffler). The Bagurumba dance is believed to be the major traditional dance of ‘Bodo’ tribe.
Raut Nacha: Raut Nacha is one of the most popular tribal dances of India, which is generally done by ‘Yadava’ community as a representation of worship to Krishna. The dance is closely similar to Krishna's ‘Raas leela’.
Dumhal Dance: ‘Dumhal’ dance is performed by the people of ‘Rauf’ tribe of Kashmir on precise events. The performers dress in long colourful robes and tall pointed caps are studded with beads and shells. The dancers move in a parade carrying a banner in a very traditional fashion. It is then dug into the ground and the men begin to dance, forming a circle around the banner. Dancers sing in chorus and drums are used to assist the music.
Tertali Dance: ‘Tertali’ dance is performed by the ‘Kamar’ tribe of Madhya Pradesh. It is generally performed by two or three women who sit on the ground. Manjiras or small metal cymbals are tied to different parts of the body, mostly with the legs. The head is covered with a veil and a small sword is clenched between the teeth and an ornamental pot balanced on the head.
Tarpha Nach: In the hilly regions of northwest India, Kokna tribal dance is accompanied by the Tarpha or Pavri, which is a wind instrument made of dried gourd. Hence, the Kokna dance is mostly known as Trapha Nach or Pavri Nach.
Chang Lo Dance: The Chang Lo which is also known as ‘Sua Lua’ is a dance of the ‘Chang’ tribe of Nagaland. It was presented to celebrate the triumph over enemies in the earlier times. Currently, it forms a part of all the community celebrations, such as ‘Poanglem’, which is a three-day festival proceeding the harvest season.
Kalbelia Dance: ‘Kalbelia’ is performed by the women's group of the ‘Kalbelia’ community of Rajasthan. Dancers, who are attired in traditional black swirling skirts, sway gracefully to the melancholic notes of the 'been', the wooden instrument of the snake charmers.
Laho Dance: During the ‘Behdienkhlam’ festival in Meghalaya, the ‘Pnar’ Tribe takes part in ‘Laho’ dance with bright garments. Two men stand on both side of a woman and they connect each other’s arms to execute particular steps.
Khiamniungan Dance: ‘Khiamniungan’ dance is a tribal dance of Nagaland. It is vibrant and colourful.
Santhali Dance: The ‘Santhali’ dance is measured to be one of the greatest tribal dances of India, which offers huge enthusiasm and cheerfulness. ‘Santhali’ dance is usually performed by both the men and women of the ‘Santhali’ tribe in Jharkhand and West Bengal states.
Brato Dance: The remarkable Indian tribal dance ‘Brato’ of West Bengal is essentially an in-vocational dance, preferred by barren women, who are worshipping their presiding deity after entreaties for progeny are answered.
Goria Dance: Goria dance is performed by Tripuri people of Tripura state. This dance is performed to offer a prayer and thank to the god Goria for a satisfying cultivation; this happens in the month of April. It is a seven-day festival named Goria Puja.
Hozagiri Dance: Hozagiri is one of the popular tribal dances of India, which is performed by the Riang community of Tripura state. This dance is mainly famous for its unique moves and steps. The performers are not allowed to move the upper portion of their torso and so as the hands. This is a terrible belly dancing that is performed by the girls by standing on a pitcher and balancing a bottle and a lighted lamp on their heads.
Dhimsa Dance: Dhimsa dance is another famous tribal dance of India. It is performed by the Porja caste women of Odisha state. A group of 15-20 women form a circle and dance praising the deity for the welfare of their domestic life. They also perform this dance at the weddings since the women pray for a peaceful and happy married life. The performers of this dance wear tribal dresses and ornaments while the leading lady also carries a peacock feather in her hand during the performance.
Cheraw Dance: Cheraw is one of the most popular tribal dances of India, performed in Mizoram. This spontaneous and rhythmic dance needs lot of practice to perform. Two men sitting face to face open and close two elongated bamboos by sitting on the ground. They do it with the beats and the girls jump in and out with the rhythm of the tune. The girls wear popular Mizo dance attires like Puanchei, Kawrchei, Vakiria during performance.
Other Tribal Dances of India
Bhavada tribal dance of India utilises masks and colourful costumes in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli region. The state of Tripura, with its large tribal population of ‘Riang’, who venerates both tribal and Hindu Gods, survives on agriculture. To certify a good harvest, they mollify Goddess Lakshmi by a dance of young maidens named the ‘Hawaii’. ‘Kummi’ and ‘Kolattam’ are the two most famous tribal dances of India, which are performed by the tribal women of Tamil Nadu. In ‘Kummi’, claps maintain the beat, while in ‘Kollattam’ beat is sustained by striking two sticks. In this form of Indian tribal dance, each dancer possesses two sticks, which are often painted in dazzling colours.
The Muslim community of Tamil Nadu possesses a monopoly over the dance called ‘Pulli Atam’, where the men folk dress ornately like a stripped carnivore with tail, claws, whiskers and dance in the streets. Among several tribal dances of India ‘Karagam’ is another dance form of Tamil Nadu, which is dedicated to Goddess Mariamma, the Goddess of health and rain. In this dance, men and women balance pots of uncooked rice on their heads to the accompaniment of pipes and drums.
(Last Updated on : 13-11-2018)
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Tribal Dances of India