Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Madhya Pradesh


Folk Dance

Gaur Dance

The most popular among the Madhya Pradesh dances, is the Gaur dance of the Sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias (bison-horn Marias) of South Bastar.

This spectacular dance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe. The word 'Gaur' means a ferocious bison. The invitation for a dance is given by sounding a bamboo trumpet or a horn. Wearing head-dresses frilled with stringed 'cowries' and plumes of peacock feathers fastened to them the men folk with flutes and drums make their way to the dancing ground. Women adorned with brass fillets and bead necklaces over their tattooed bodies soon join the assemblage. They carry dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands and tap them to conform with the drum-beats. They dance in their own groups by the side of the male members. But they also take the liberty to cross and re-cross in between the groups of male dancers and drummers. Their jingling anklets correspond to the songs of their lips as they move. The men beat the drums, tossing the horns and feathers of their head-gears to the rising tempo that gives the dance a wilder touch.

The men with drums usually move in a circle and create a variety of dancing patterns when they are spirited. In the bison dance (Gaur) they attack one another and chase the female dancers. The Marias imitate a number of bison movements. Most of them perform like frisky bulls, hurling wisps of grass into air, charging and tossing horns.

Muria Dances

The Murias of North Bastar are trained in the Ghotul for all types of their community dances. Before any dance is commenced at a wedding or a festive occasion, the Murias first worship their drums. Very often they begin with an invocation to 'Lingo Pen', the phallic deity of the tribe and the founder of the Ghotul institution. To a Muria, Lingo Pen was the first musician who taught the art of drumming to the tribal boys.

The dancing site is chosen near the Ghotul compound. On marriage celebrations, the Muria boys and girls perform a dance called Har Endanna. The dance commences with a group of boys carrying ritualistic offerings and gifts and conducting the bridegroom to the ceremonial place. In this light and happy dance, there are a variety of movements with the boy and the girl dancers and drummers participating to move in patterns with running steps and circles then changing directions, kneeling, bending and jumping. The movements of the drummers as they dance and manipulate their drums is fascinating.

Their Hulki is the loveliest of all the dances. The Karsana is performed for sheer fun and enjoyment. Both the dance-forms are quick and rich with many rhythmic nuances. In the Hulki, boys move in a ring while the girls tread way through them. These forms are more favourite with the performing groups when they go to another village to attend wedding celebrations or else visit some fair. Their Pus Kolang expedition occurs in the month of February. During hot weather the boys and the girls meet in Chhat-Dadar expedition. Many of the dances associated to these visits are stick-dances.