of the Hill Marias of the Abujhmar mountains is quite different. In one of their
dance-forms they carry dummy horses on their shoulders and move slowly into a
is a festival dance, performed by the Abhujmaria of Bastar. Prior to the rains,
the Maria cultivators in every village worship the deity for reaping a rich
harvest. To invoke the blessing of the deity, Kaksar, a group dance, in which
young boys and girls take part, is performed. Boys put on a peculiar costume of
a long white robe while girls are clad in all their finery. The dance presents
to both girls and boys, a unique opportunity to choose their life partners, and
marriage is enthusiastically celebrated afterwards. There is a rhythm and melody
in this dance. The melodious music, the tinkling of the bells combine to create
an atmosphere of spell and enchantment.
Chaitra festival dance
Chaitra festival dance is another famous dance of the Gonds of Bastar
district; it is performed after the harvest to thank goddess Annapurna for the
harvest already gathered and to seek her blessings for the next crop. Men and
women dance in a circle, in semi-circles or in rows; all dancers hold each
peacock feather on the head is a distinctive mark and the dancers wear colourful
costumes, adorning themselves with garlands of shells and pearls. As the dancers
go round in rhythmic movements, their feet beat to the music of the Shehnai,
Nagada, Timki, Tapri, Dholak and Maduri. Sometimes, the Singha and Kohuk; wind instruments are also played.
is the women's dance. It is called Tapadi among the Baigas. The Gond women of
Mandla district start the Rina just after the festival of Diwali.
The Sua or
Sugga dance of the women of Chhattisgarh and the Mikal Hills is significant for
its elegance and grace. The word 'Sua' means a parrot. The women
take recourse to this dance a month in advance of the festival of Diwali.
While dancing, the women lift their feet in imagination of a parrot-walk, then
bend and jerk their heads in bird-like fashion to the clapping of hands.
Groups of girls often go on long trips to the adjoining villages to display
their excellence in this dance. Similarly they receive groups of girls
visiting their own village. They prepare a wooden Sugga (a parrot) and
place it on an earthen pot covered with paddy shoots. One of the girls
carries the pot on her head and stands as a revolving figure in the middle of
the group to face the dancing row when the opposite row of the girls
alternatively stops. In this dance no instrument is used with the
exception of a wooden clapper named
Thiski is played to provide rhythm, where the Gonds and the Baigas predominate.
folk-dances of the hilly tracts of the Vindhyas are more indigenous and
recreational. Not a single ceremonial occasion passes in any community
without dance and music. The Bhils who inhabit the Vindhya ranges and the
banks of the Narmada are traditionally prone to their Bhagoriah and Gavar
dances. Their instruments are an ordinary Mandal (big drum) and a Thali (brass plate). Hundreds of men and women join and move in
a circle with wild shouts and lusty songs to the noisy abandon of the beat of
drums. The Bhagoriah is typical of ecstasy and vibrating spectacle.
Men waving bows and arrows synchronize their movements and stamping of feet with
verve. During the Holi festival in Phalguna (Feburary) the Bhils and the
Garasias perform a dance called the Ger. The women of both these tribes
also dance the Loor. They form a circle and then holding their hands, they
dance the Loor with forward and backward movements. In the Pali dance, the
women form two rows. The Duipali, the Pachmundya Pali and the Ondi-Chiti
Pali are the other forms of the Pali dance.