Kolis of Maharashtra
The Koli community are the fishing folks residing in the coastal areas of Maharashtra. The Koli community is recognised for its distinct identity which also reflects in their dance. The dance focuses on their lifestyle and occupation which is fishing. Through the performance of this lively Koli Dance, the Kolis forget the many hardships that their occupation brings to them on a daily basis. The Koli Dance incorporates elements that this community is most familiar with - sea and fishing.
Performance of Koli Dance
The fishermen while performing the Koli Dance stand in TWO rows holding small oars (important fishing equipment) in their hands. They move these oars in sync with the harmony imitating the movement of rowing a boat. The Kolis also sway the oars forwards and backwards creating an illusion of rowing a boat which is tossing on the waves of the sea. The fisherwomen stand in a separate row linking their arms and advance towards the men dancing with them. The movement of the dancers in unison shows the movement of the rowing boat and the act of fishing. Some of the famous songs that accompany this dance are Me Dolker, Aga Pori Sambhaal, Dol Doltai, Paru Go Paru and Valav Re Nakva.
Costumes of Koli Dance
The female dancers of the Koli Dance are generally dressed in traditional green-coloured saris that are draped up to their knee. They also adorn themselves with ornaments like necklace, ear ring and bangles. On the other hand, the male performers of the dance wear lungis around their waists that form a triangular shape.
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