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.
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
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.
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.