Thursday, September 29, 2022



Garba Dance

Garba dance is a popular folk Dance of Gujarat. It is a circular form of dance performed  by ladies on the Navaratri days, Sharad Purnima,
Vasant Panchami, Holi and such other festive occasions. The word Garba is derived from the word Garbha Deep meaning a lamp inside a perforated earthen pot. The light inside the perforated earthen pot symbolised the embryonic  life. In this folk dance, ladies place the pot with the lamp on their heads and move in circles, singing in time measure by clapping their palms or snapping their fingers, to the accompaniment of folk instruments.

The actual performance begins at night after the women finish their house hold  work. All gather at street corners. A photograph  of the goddess or a lamp is kept in the  centre and around it the circle is formed. The dancing begins with slow tempo and reaches a fast tempo. The rhythm is kept by a Dholi or drummer who sit in the centre.

Some times, women carry on their  heads 'Mandavali' a small  canopy made of bamboo chips covered  with a red silk piece of cloth. They dance with it and later put it in the centre. Mandavali symbolises the temple of the goddess. Women wear sari in the Gujarati style. Each community wears different clothes. In Saurashtra, women  wear embroidered  petticoats (Ghaghara), a backless choli (Kapdu) and a head cover (odhani) with lots of silver and head ornaments. Males wear Kediyum (shirt) Vajani (trouser) and Rumal a printed head piece with  silver ornaments on the waist, neck and hands. The musical instruments used for Garba are mainly the drum or dhol and Nal. But Rasa has Pavo (a double flute) Vansali (flute) Zanza (Discs )etc. The drummer ties his drums around the neck and moves inside the circle beating it.

Garba  songs are mostly in praise of  Mother Goddess Amba describing her form, powers, and invoking her  blessings. Also there are Garbas describing seasons and social themes of domestic and married life.