(Last Updated on : 13/11/2018)
Tribal Dances of India are performed firmly by tribal people of the country. These people, who are denominated as adivasi, possess a culture
, which is distinct from the pan Indian population. It may be noted that tribal dances of India are vastly dissimilar from Indian folk dances
; there is no thread that binds the two. There are several tribal folks in India; each of the aboriginal tribes
possesses their own distinguishable dance traditions and invariably all of them are interwoven with the life of the people who perform the same.
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:
is a tribal dance of native Bodo tribe
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 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.
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.
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
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 others arms to execute particular steps.
Khiamniungan dance is a tribal dance of Nagaland. It is vibrant and colourful.
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
and West Bengal
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 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.