Etymology of Chheih Lam
Literally, the terms "Chheih" and "Lam" mean ‘exclamation of joy’ and ‘dance’ respectively. Hence, this folk dance is the celebration of the spirit of joy and exhilaration.
History of Chheih Lam
Chheih lam is a community dance and it originated in the year 1900. Interestingly, the dance was developed for stage but it evolved through community involvement and participation.
Performance of Chheih Lam
During the performance, people sit on their heels on the floor in a circle while a dancer stands in the middle. He recites a song with various limb and body movements. Anyone can try this dance as it has as such no specific choreography. All it requires is that of the enthusiasm to dance.
He exhibits various jerking movements of legs and gentle movements of hands and body. Though, this dance is physically tiring but it relieves one from mental stress. Its physical benefits are enormous. It is generally performed in the evenings when the day’s work is done. However, it can also be performed on any occasion. The main aim of the dance is to unite everyone and spread happiness.
Lyrics of Chheih Lam
A song called Chheih hla mainly accompanies the dance. The song is not that lengthy. It comprises of only three line stanza and the words used are very simple, yet spontaneous.
Musical Instruments of Chheih Lam
In terms of musical instruments, either the sounds of a drum or a bamboo tube or clapping of hands are heard.
Costume of Chheih Lam
The participants wear colorful ethnic attires that feature the rich creative background of the Mizo people. Ethnic jewelries accompany the costume. The entire dress up complements the dance and makes it look more beautiful.