Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arts and Architecture

Dance & Music

Tribal Folk Dances

Music and dance play a pivotal role in the life of the tribal communities. Most of them have well-organised institutions for providing training in these arts to young men and women. In a large part of the tribal area of the state have youth dormitories where regular instruction in dance and music is imparted every morning. Most tribal groups have exquisite folk songs dealing with different themes and suited to different occasions. In most tribal communities there are special dances for different festivals and these dances are highly enchanting. To the tribals, music and dance are not a sort of recreation. They are so closely  interwoven with tribal courtship that they have often been described as an expression of stylised animality.

Young men and women meet freely in the dancing ground of their village, forgetting all their sorrows and sufferings. They give themselves away to singing and dancing. Ladem with themes of tender of love, their songs have highly seductive charm. The dancing ground is not merely a place of recreation or training in music and dance but a rendezvous for court ship.

To the Adivasis of south Bihar, dance is very breath of life rather than a means of amusement. Their songs are generally accompanied by dances. They will change according to the seasons. They have their dancing platform, often under the shade of a big tree. The Santhals are born singers and dancers. Their important dance festivals are Maghi parva, Dasia parva, Ba parva and Karma. The Birhors, Hos and Kisans have their special choreography expressive of their culture and art traditions. 

The Oraons and Mundas have their dances. They are Jadur, Karma and Jatra dances. The Karma is the most important festival among these tribes. On the eleventh day of Bhadra they plant the branch of Karma tree quite ceremoniously and then after worshipping it, men and women dance. The entire village community filled with high spirits, dances continuously for three days. After the rains they perform the Jatra dance. The paika dance is inextricably mated to Munda culture and it is performed on the occasion of a marriage. This is a mock-fight dance with swords and shields meant only for men folk. The Jadur is performed on the occasion of the Sarhul festival in April. 

The Karma festival is also celebrated by the Mathos, Harijans, Napits, Mandals. Their womenfolk  dance round the Karma plant. 

The Nachni and Natua dances are semi-professional. The Nachni and her Rasik dance to the tune of the shehnai, magara etc. holding handkerchiefs in their hands and wish sashes tied round their waists, two male accompanists sing and clap. The Nachni performs her dance on different joyous occasions and seasons. Her singing and dancing go together. Her song is sung in the pach-parganiya dialect. It is a mixture of Hindu and Kurmali. At Silli, a town-let in the Ranchi district, all Nachnis and Rasiks gather together and perform the Rasa on the Kartik purnima day. The Natua dance is essentially a duet. The performers dancing to the accompaniment of the dhol, shehnai and Nagara.