Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Madhya Pradesh


Kaksar Dance

The dance 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 wide circle.

Kaksar 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

The 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 other's waist.

A 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.

The Rina 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.

Sua or Sugga dance

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.

The 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.