(Last Updated on : 13/10/2014)
Jagar is a folk dance
performed in the Kumaon hill region of Uttarakhand
. It is a popular ritualistic dance
which falls in the category of spiritual worship of ghosts, performed in the form of folk songs and is accompanied with regional dance form. In some cases, Jagars are performed in the form of Puja folk songs and are sung in the honour of various gods
Performance of Jagar
The performances are based on 50 Ballads on local gods, goddesses and spirits, ghosts and fairies, the most famous being the Gorilla, Bholanath and Ganganath. The performance is accompanied with music
, coupled with singing, punctuated by the exotic drum-beats, and the shrill sound of the thali, the crescendo, builds up and drives the listeners into a trance. In a fit of ecstasy they tremble, leap, and shout and jump. Sometimes, they even tear off their cloth. Spirits are summoned by the head priest by the families and questions are asked. Usually the spirit demands a sacrifice of a goat or a bird
. The spirit is sent back to its Himalayan
abode and the spell breaks-the dance and the ceremony is over. While in a state of trance the dancers lick red-hot pokers, or shove their hands into the blazing fire without being harmed.
Instruments of Jagar
The musical instruments
used in this dance are a big drum
(dhol), a smaller drum (damua), hurka and thall.
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