Folk Dances of Tribes

Folk Dances of Tribes: The emotional background of folk dances of tribals residing in the hilly and sub-hilly regions of Vindhyachal Mountain is similar to those of other parts of the country. These dances are full of excitement, valour and speed. Gond culture has a distinct place of its own.

Karma dance is considered to be main dance of the Gond tribe. Often men and women standing in a row sway and sing sensual song and dance. Men dance in circles playing their instruments and show their aerobatics. They dance climbing on the shoulders of others. Then they get down and sit in circles and keep on dancing in this way. As the beats of the instruments become faster the rhythm of dance also becomes faster.

The Gond youth perform another dance at the time of sowing of the crops which is called’ Beyphutani’ dance. Gond dance is performed to please the rain goddess to ensure enough water availability.

The dances of Bfiils and Banjaras are particularly popular in the region of Central India. The ‘Dagli’ dance of Bhils, which is very entertaining, is performed only by men. In ‘Pali’ dance, both men and women join. The ‘Lagi’ dance of Banjaras is performed in the Hindu month of ‘Shravana’. In this dance, mostly songs narrating brave deeds are sung highlighting the valour. In the songs of Banjaras, often the story of Prithviraj Chauhan is narrated. ‘Ghera’ dance as evident from the name itself is performed in circles. The Banjaras hold each other’s hands and dance moving into the circle. The ‘Lota’ dance of women is very attractive. In this dance, they keep a tumbler on their heads and dance.

The dances of Banjaras in south India are slightly different but movements of body parts and Mudras (expressions) are often similar. In South India, the Banjarans can be married only if she is a skilled dancer. In their dances, many of their daily rituals are reflected. While dancing, Banjaras and Banjarans put on garland as worn by Gypsies and adorn themselves with stones. Their skirts (Ghagharas) are of either dark colours or white. Their blouses are studded with star and glass beads and are made by stitching together a number of cloth pieces. The women wear bells (Ghungroos) in their wrist and not in ankles.

The Gonds of Hyderabad dance moving from place to place. They are treated with respect in the villages which they visit. In ‘Dandia’ dance, they move in circles and the beats are created by striking batons. It is said that Dandia dance has been named after a person ‘Dandaria’.

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