BASTAR TRIBAL DANCE of CHHATTISGARH INDIA
Chhattisgarh is an undiscovered paradise, offering a tourist destination with a difference. Known for its exceptional scenic beauty and unique and rich cultural heritage, Chhattisgarh has always been synonymous with tribes and tribal culture. Over one third of the state population is of tribes, most of them inhabiting in the thickly forested areas of the famous Bastar region. The tribes of Chhattisgarh are known for their unique lifestyles and have beautifully retained their own culture and traditions for many centuries. The tribes of Chhattisgarh region are also known for their passion for dances and music, which are the most important amusements and a part and parcel of their day-to-day life.
Gaur dance is a popular folk dance of Madhya Pradesh dances. Gaur dance is popular in the Sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias of South Bastar. Men put head-dresses with stringed 'cowries' and plumes of peacock feathers and make their way to the dancing ground. Women ornamented with brass fillets and bead necklaces with their tattooed bodies also join the gathering. 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.
The Muria tribals of North Bastar area are trained in all types of their community dances. At the start of dance sequences they begin with an invocation to the phallic deity of their tribe and the founder of the Ghotul institution. The site chosen for the dance is near the Ghotul compound. During marriages, the Muria boys and girls perform Har Endanna dance. Their Hulki dance is the most beautiful of all the dances while the Karsana dance is performed for fun and enjoyment. In the Hulki dance, boys move in a circular fashion while the girls make their way through them.
Saila dance is performed by the young boys of Chattisgarh during the post harvest time. Saila is a stick-dance and is popular among the people of Sarguja, Chhindwara and Betul districts. In this region the Saila dance is also known as Danda Nach or Dandar Pate. Saila dance comprises over half a dozen varieties The Saila dance often comes out with many variations and much buffoonery. Sometimes the dancers form a circle, each standing on one leg and supporting himself by holding on to the man in front. Then they all hop together round and round.
The Karma dance is very popular among the Gonds and the Baigas of Chhattisgarh and the Oraons of Madhya Pradesh. The Karma dance is associated with the fertility cult and is related to the Karma festival that falls in the month of August. The Karma dance symbolizes coming of green branches in tress during the spring season. There are other variants of the Karma. The songs associated with these variants differ with each pattern.
Kaksar dance is performed during the festival period. It is popular among the Abhujmarias of Bastar. Kaksar dance is performed in hope of reaping a rich harvest. To invoke the blessings of the deity, young boys and girls perform Kaksar (a group dance). Boys put on a peculiar costume of a long white robe while girls are clad in all their finery. The Kaksar dance presents a unique opportunity to boys and girls to choose their life partners.