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This is the dance of the Nicobarese - the fascinating tribal group residing in the island of Car Nicobar. The dance is performed during the Ossuary Feast or the Pig Festival. Dedicated to the departed head of the family, the occasion is observed with night long dancing in the full moonlight under the swaying palms. The dancers dressed in coconut fronds step gracefully in time to traditional songs. Feasting and good food followed by a pig fight in the morning are other highlights of the celebration.


Nongkrem Dance of Meghalaya is celebrated during autumn at Smit, the cultural center of the Khasi Hills, to essentially commemorate the evolution of Khasi indigenous democratic states called Hima.



Padayani or Padeni in colloquial speech is one of the most colorful and spectacular folk arts associated with the festivals of certain temples in southern Kerala (Aleppy, Quilon, Pathanamthitta, and Kottayam districts). The word Padayani literally means military formations or rows of army, but in this folk art we have mainly a series of divine and semi-divine impersonations wearing huge masks or kolams of different shapes, colors and designs painted on the stalks of areca nut fronds. The most important of the kolams usually presented in a Padayani performance are Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (god of death), Yakshi (fairy), Pakshi (bird) etc.

The Kolam consists primarily of a huge headgear with many projections and devices with a mask for the face or a chest piece to cover the breast and abdomen of the performer. The whole performance consisting of the dancers or actors who wear the kolams, the singers who recite a different poem for each Kolam, and the instrumentalists who evoke wild and loud rhythm on their simple drum called Thappu and Cymbals, etc., takes the form of a procession of Kali and her spirits returning after the killing of the Asura chief Darika.


The folk dance of the Satnami community of Madhya Pradesh bears religious overtones. Performed on Maghi Purnima - the birth anniversary of their Guru Ghasidas, the dance is evolving still to include a variety of steps and patterns. The dancers dance around a jaitkham set up for the occasion, to the songs eulogizing their spiritual head. The songs also reflect the Nirvana philosophy, conveying the spirit of renunciation of their Guru and the teachings of saint poets like Kabir, Ramdas, Dadu, etc. Dancers with bent torsos and swinging arms continue to dance till carried away by their devotion. As the rhythm quickens, they indulge in acrobatics and even form human pyramids.


In the hilly regions of the northwest, the Kokna tribal dance to the accompaniment of the tarpha or pavri, a wind instrument made of dried gourd. Because of this, the dance is known as Tarpha Nach or Pavri Nach. The performers hold each other by the waist and dance in close formation. Men also dance separately, and this includes feats of skill, like forming a pyramid or rapidly revolving a dancer round a stout pole.


The Phoong cholam (drum dance) is a form a Manipuri dance. It forms a part of the ritualistic congregational offering.

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