Tribal Dances of Manipur
The tribal dances are part and parcel of the Manipuri dances. It provides an
evolutionary trend of dance styles. The tribal dances are closely related to
nature. Besides war dances, they have also
developed some sacred dances from their experience of spirits and superstitions.
Such dances are performed to please the spirits. The tribal dances of Manipuri Nagas are very
popular. The men wear a coloured
loin cloth round the hip, a scarf with multi coloured bands is crossed at chest hanging down
and back, the leggings are white or coloured and Dao or spear is carriedin
in the hand. Generally unmarried girls take part in the dance. They wear skirt by wrapping around their body, the tinsel
ornaments in circles round the hair-knot on the head. There are several kinds of dances.
In Hansengav the boys and girls form a
circle. The steps are taken with music and alternately changed. The movement is
slow in the beginning and so is the music but gradually the tempo increases as
the dance nears the climax. The dance ends when the male dancers come closer in
the circle and hold their Daos by exposing them in the air.
In Toonaga Lomna also, girls and boys
form a circle. They dance but the
circle as a whole moves slowly at the centre two couples face each other. The
girls exchange while turning round and round. The steps are taken with the tune
and changed alternately.
Boys and girls forms two parallel rows in the dance
Heng Naga Toona. The
hands are clasped by the two opposing each other. These are swung up and down
with music, the rows move with taking steps side to side alternately. Towards
the end two or four girls dance in the centre to finish the dance.
In Tinkoom Gueina Tonagga Lamay dance girls and boys form a circle which is
stationary and two girls dance in the centre. They show fantastic movements of
their hands with the music.
The dance Chan Lam is performed only by the men forming a circle and they
move, the step is taken forward then backward to its position and then again
forward. While they move everyone shouts ho! ho! ho!. The dancers divide and
then form a party dance is irregular pacing with quick music and at last the
dance is finished with howls. The Kukis also perform these four types of dances. The Kukis were inferior
tot he Nagas in dances, though superior in singing.
perform a beautiful dance called Bamboo dance. It is performed by girls. The
costume of the dancer is colourful. The long skirt up to the feet, is a colourful combination of
horizontal and vertical stripes. The block carry geometric designs of varied
colours. The head-dress is
unique. A ribbon of bamboo strip encircles the head with plumes adjusted
around. At the back of the head the ribbon carries a horizontal rod like a bob kin
with strings hanging down. The dancers perform the dance by lightly jumping over
the bamboo sticks. The bamboo sticks are placed horizontally in parallel spacing
over the vertically placed bamboo sticks to form criss-cross. Two women, each
sitting on one side, slide the horizontal bamboo sticks over the vertically
placed bamboo sticks on the ground, matching the rhythm of the music. The striking
of the sticks with each other at regular intervals also produces a tempo. The dancers adjust rhythmic helps of
their feet according to the music.