| Tribal Folk Dances
Music and dance play a pivotal role in the life of the tribal communities.
Most of them have well-organised institutions for providing training in
these arts to young men and women. In a large part of the tribal area
of the state have youth dormitories where regular instruction in dance
and music is imparted every morning. Most tribal groups have exquisite
folk songs dealing with different themes and suited to different occasions.
In most tribal communities there are special dances for different festivals
and these dances are highly enchanting. To the tribals, music and dance
are not a sort of recreation. They are so closely interwoven with
tribal courtship that they have often been described as an expression
of stylised animality. Young men and women meet freely in the dancing
ground of their village, forgetting all their sorrows and sufferings.
They give themselves away to singing and dancing. Ladem with themes of
tender of love, their songs have highly seductive charm. The dancing ground
is not merely a place of recreation or training in music and dance but
a rendezvous for court ship.
To the Adivasis of south Bihar, dance is very breath
of life rather than a means of amusement. Their songs are generally accompanied
by dances. They will change according to the seasons. They have their
dancing platform, often under the shade of a big tree. The Santhals are
born singers and dancers. Their important dance festivals are Maghi parva,
Dasia parva, Ba parva and Karma. The Birhors, Hos and Kisans have their
special choreography expressive of their culture and art traditions.
The Oraons and Mundas have their dances. They are Jadur,
Karma and Jatra dances. The Karma is the most important festival among
these tribes. On the eleventh day of Bhadra they plant the branch of Karma
tree quite ceremoniously and then after worshipping it, men and women
dance. The entire village community filled with high spirits, dances continuously
for three days. After the rains they perform the Jatra dance. The paika
dance is inextricably mated to Munda culture and it is performed on the
occasion of a marriage. This is a mock-fight dance with swords and shields
meant only for men folk. The Jadur is performed on the occasion of the
Sarhul festival in April.
The Karma festival is also celebrated by the Mathos,
Harijans, Napits, Mandals. Their womenfolk dance round the Karma
The Nachni and Natua dances are semi-professional.
The Nachni and her Rasik dance to the tune of the
shehnai, magara etc. holding handkerchiefs in their hands and wish
sashes tied round their waists, two male accompanists sing and clap. The
Nachni performs her dance on different joyous occasions and seasons. Her
singing and dancing go together. Her song is sung in the pach-parganiya
dialect. It is a mixture of Hindu and Kurmali. At Silli, a town-let in
the Ranchi district, all Nachnis and Rasiks gather together and perform
the Rasa on the Kartik purnima day. The Natua dance is essentially a duet.
The performers dancing to the accompaniment of the dhol, shehnai and Nagara.