A complete list of folk and tribal dance in India

India is a rich country of cultural and folk art. There are all kinds of dance forms from Kathak to Behu. All traditional dance has long been a sacred expression of faith.

Indian folk and tribal dances are simple, and they are performed to get pleasure from them. Dancing is a part of daily life and religious rituals. Indian folk dances have eternal forms and rhythm.

Traditional dancing is organised on every time, i.e. the births of children, festivals, marriage opportunities and the arrival of seasons. Indian folk and tribal dances are dance with minimal steps or movements. These folk dance of India are full of vibrancy, enthusiasm and energy.

Most of these folk dances are performed with a set dress code. These dresses are very colourful and traditional ornaments that matched with them are worn.

Today, HTOI going to introduce you to some of the top Indian folk and tribal dance forms of India. So, for what you are waiting let’s explore the famous Indian folk and tribal dances.

Indian Folk And Tribal dances by State

  • All
  • Assam
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Haryana
  • Goa
  • Gujarat
  • Mizoram
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Orissa
  • Rajasthan
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Nagaland
  • West Bengal
  • Kerala
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Sikkim
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Punjab
  • Tripura

Bagurumba, Assam

Bagurumba Assam

Many folk and tribal dances have originated from Assam. Bagurumba is one of the popular dances in Assam, which is performed by the Bodo women. During this festival, they wear some colorful dresses such as dokhna, jwmgra and aronai and they perform with some instrumental music.

Even some instruments are made with local bamboo and animal skins and they are specially made for this occasion, and you can find the perfect hilly flute music mixed with drum, serja, gongwna and tharkha. This is a purely folk dance form in India.

Bihu Dance, Assam

Bihu Dance aasam

This is a famous Indian folk dance, which is conducted during the Bihu festival in Assam. Local Assamese Men & women dancers wear some regional Assamese cloth and perform their local dance with brisk steps and fastest hand movements.

They perform their dance with some local instruments including Dhol, Pepa, Baahi, Gagana. Most of these instruments are made with local bamboo and this festival is one of the most colorful dance festivals in Assam.

You can find some male dancers wearing dhoti and mustard color headband and women in mustard and red color sari. During this festival, the sound of flute and dancing to the beat of the drum goes to such a powerful level, that people cannot resist themselves to join these groups.

Bhortal Dance, Assam

Bhortal Dance Assam

This is a classical Indian dance form, which was developed by famous Satriya artist Narahari Burha Bhakat.

This is one of the most popular dance forms in Assam which is conducted in Barpeta district in Assam every year.

Jhumur, Assam

Jhumur aasam

Jhumur is basically known as a folk dance form, which has originated from Assam and now this dance form become very popular in Bangladesh and eastern Indian parts.

This dance is performed by young girls and men and they basically perform on the beat of musical instruments and vocals.

Bardo Chham, Arunachal Pradesh

Bardo Chham Arunachal Pradesh

This is a religious folk dance in Arunachal Pradesh and this dance is specially performed by a small community in West Kameng District. Sherdukpens, a community in Arunachal Pradesh performs this dance every year to protect its community from the evil forces.

They believe that every month of a year has some kind of evil power, and the community members wear some animal masks and dance with the beating of drums.

Raut Nacha, Chhattisgarh

Raut Nacha Chhattisgarh

This is one of the most popular folk dance forms in Chhattisgarh and you can find some picturesque memories of the Hindu religion through these dances.

This dance is basically performed by Yadavs which are known as descendants of Lord Krishna, and they perform with some girls and dramatize some scenes of Lord Krishna’s lifestyle with his gopis.

You can find some similarities with Raas Leela with this Raut Nacha because both dance performances are dedicated to Lord Krishna, and both of these dance forms imitate the lifestyle of Lord Krishna only.

Fugdi, Goa

Fugdi Goa

This dance form basically originated from Goa and people perform this dance during several festivals in Goa.

But Fugdi is basically performed during the month of Bhadrapada, which is a special occasion for women, and during this time they usually take some break from their normal monotonous lifestyle.

Women in villages create a group in circle position during this dance performance, and tribal women perform in a row on this dance.

This dance is started in a slow motion and it ends with some fastest movements. Local musical accompaniments are also there to compliment the dance steps.

Dandia Raas, Gujarat

This is a vibrant and popular dance form in India, which originated from Gujarat. Some colorful polished sticks or Dandia are used for this dance and this mainly represents the fight between Hindu Goddess Durga and demon king Mahishasura. This is also called as Garba Dance which is popular in other states of India.

These sticks are mainly used as a representation symbol of sword used by Devi Durga and you can find many similar dance forms and competitions in India such as Dandia Dhamaka, Garba, Dandia on fire and lots more. Even people stays in western countries also perform on this dance form during Festival.

Garba, Gujarat

Garba Gujarat

Garba is mainly performed by women and women dances in a circular motion and clapping on the rhythms. During the Navaratri, people lighted their temples with some perforated pot style lamp and they used to carry these lamps or deep during their Garba dance also.

This traditional folk dance is mainly performed during the Navaratri and along with the Gujarat, many other states in India also conduct some celebration programs on this festival.

Apart from this, you can also find some tribal dance forms in Gujarat such as Tippani Dance and Padhar Dance. Tippani dance is an interesting dance form, which is performed by tribal men and women, and they carry some bamboo and wooden rods and beat on the floor with these sticks.

Padhar dance is purely based on the local music and you can find various instruments performed with this dance such as Siddi Dhamal, Hudo, Aagawa and Matukadi.

Nati, Himachal Pradesh

Nati Dance Of Himachal Pradesh

Nati is one of the most traditional folk dances in India, which is mainly originated from Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. This dance form is listed as largest folk dance in Guinness Book of World Records in 2016.

Apart from that Kullu, you can also find the same dance in Chandigarh and Uttrakhand. This dance form is also known as “Losar shone chuksom” which indicate the local New Year celebration in Himachal.

There are seven different forms of Nati dances performed by Himachali youth such as Lahauli Nati, Kinnauri, Sirmauri, Mahasuvi and Himachali Nati dance.

Ras Leela, Haryana

Ras Leela Haryana

Ras Leela is a traditional dance form in India, which is based on a mythological story of Hinduism. According to Bhagavata Purana and Gita, Lord Krishna was fond of dancing with Radha and Sakhis throughout the night and this was called as Raslila of Braj.

Rasa means aesthetics and leela means dance. So the meaning of Ras Leela is “play of aesthetics” or “Dance of divine love”. You can find different art ad dance forms performed by the theme of Ras Leela such as Kathak, Odissi, Meite, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

Apart from that, you can also find some regional drama performances in Mathura and Brindavana in Uttar Pradesh during the Krishna Janmasthami and Holi festivals which are conducted with the same dance. But in Assam, this Ras Leela performed during the Raas Mahotsava. This is a very colorful dance and dancers imitate the lifestyle of Lord Krishna only.

Dumhal, Jammu and Kashmir

This is a classical folk dance, which is performed by the men only and this is originated by the Wattal tribe in Kashmir region.

They wear some colorful dress with tall caps made with some beads and shells during this dance performance and they carry some banner with some dance movements. Basically, men begin this dance performance with some musical instruments and they dance in a circular position.

Chakyar Koothu, Kerala

Chakyar Koothu Kerala

This is one of the traditional Hindu dances in India where performers narrate some Hindu epic like Ramayana and Mahabharata.

This is also considered a comedy act where the audience can place their comments directly and through these acts, people can also project some social-economic problems of the nations.

They have basically related the current socio problems with our ancient lifestyles and narrate some dramatic dance forms on the stage.

Duffmuttu, Kerala

This is also known as Arabanmuttu and this is a traditional dance performance, which is conducted by some Muslim community.

This dance is basically originated from Arabian country and still now people dance on the Arabian music only. Special instruments are used for this dance performance, which is called duff or tap.

This instrument is like a drum and people dance on the rhythm of these drums.

Margamkali, Kerala

Syrian Christians of Kerala perform this dance in an artistic form and this dance is mainly conducted during the festival time and marriage ceremony in Kerala.

The dance is purely performed by women communities of Kerala.

You can get a chance to enjoy the live performance of Margamkali with kerala onam festival tour offered by HTOIndia.

Oppana, Kerala

Oppana Muslim Dance Form Kerala

This is a dance form, which is conducted by the Muslim community, and they mainly conduct this dance performance a day before their marriage ceremony.

This is a very popular dance in the Malabar region of Kerala and this dance is basically done by the women.

The women’s relatives of the bride perform Oppana and they celebrate the marriage by clapping around the bride during their dance.

Padyani, Kerala

Padayani Kerala

This is a purely fork art which is related to the famous temples situated in Southern Kerala.

Padyani means military foundation and during this dance performance, people use to wear some colorful masks, which is also called as kolams.

Through this dance, people try to project some acts derived from the Hindu epic and they wear some popular masks such as Bhairavi, Kalan, Yakshi and Pakshi.

So when you see this dance performance, you can see some dramatic act done by the local artists and they dress-up with some colorful stalks.

Theyyam, Kerala

It is a temple ritual dance form and also known as Kaliyattam and this is a sacred dance form, which is projected as Hindu Goddess Kali. Kaliyattam is a Malayalam work which means Daivam or God.

You can find this dance performance in some villages in Kerala where people perform some ritualistic acts through this dance during their festive sessions and in temples daily. There are different types of Theyyams in Kerala.

You can get a chance to enjoy the live performance of Theyyam with Kerala tour.

Thirayattam, Kerala

Thirayattam Kerala

This is not only a dance form, this is a festival dance formation where you can find several ritualistic acts such as dances, theatre, satire, face painting, body painting, material art projection, musical events and some regional functions.

Thirayattam is a form of ancient civilization and these events are basically conducted in some courtyard villages in Kerala and Malabar regions. Apart from that, you can also find some tribal and traditional dance forms in Kerala such as Thitambu Nritham and Thullal.

Grida dance, Madhya Pradesh

Rabi is a popular crop in Indian and farmer from remote villages in Madhya Pradesh harvesting this crop throughout the year. When the first Rabi Crops sway in the fields, the nearby villages conducted the Grida dance. They start their dance performance with some small groups, and this program starts from morning and ends at midnight. This dance form has three different phrases such as Sela, Selabhadoni and Selalarki.

Maanch, Madhya Pradesh

This is lyrical folk drama and this dance basically originated from Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Maanch means the stage where people can perform different acts such as drama, dances, music and lot more. People from villages in Madhya Pradesh perform this dramatic dance and they perform the acts of the play and dance, making it into some small groups.

Matki dance, Madhya Pradesh

Matki Dance Of Madhya Pradesh

Matki is a solo dance which is performed by the women only. Women perform this dance during the wedding ceremony in their village, they use to place a pot on their head, and a group of women surrounds the main dance during their dance performance.

This is a tribal dance form, which is mainly conducted in some countryside villages in Madhya Pradesh, and you can also find some similar dance forms in the same state, which are known as Aada and Khada Nach.

Phulpati dance, Madhya Pradesh

This dance is conducted during the Holi festival and semi-rural unmarried girls mainly perform this dance with some musical instruments. They dance to the rhythmical vibrations of drums.

Chang Lo, Nagaland

Chang Lo Nagaland

Chang Lo is also known as Sua Lua and it is a dance form performed by Chang tribe in Nagaland. Earlier people used to perform this dance as a symbol of their victory over enemies, but now tribal people perform this dance during their community festivals.

Poanglem is one of the biggest annual festival of Chang tribe and people of this tribal community use to perform Chang Lo during these three days festivals. They wear some colorful dresses and traditional Naga warrior costumes during their performance.

Cheraw dance, Mizoram

Cheraw Dance Mizoram

This is a folk dance is Mizoram and you can see many local folk and tribal communities in Mizoram who perform this dance during their festive sessions.

Four people hold some bamboo sticks that are clapped together, and the main dancer starts the performance in the centre position of the group.

Lavani Dance, Maharashtra

Lavani Dance Maharashtra

Lavani is a combination of tribal dance and song where people used to dance on the beats of Dholki. Dholki is a percussion instrument, which is also used in the Marathi folk theatre.

Female dancers perform this dance and they wear some saris in Marathi style during this performance, and they start their dance with slow movement and increase their movement with some quick tempo.

Parvi Nach, Maharashtra

If you want to see some tribal dance of hilly regions, then you can visit the hilly regions of Maharashtra and here you can find the beautiful tribal dance form performed by Kokna tribal community.

This dance is performed with some instrumental music and all of this music originated by some handmade musical instruments. Parvi Nach is popular tribal and folk dance in India.

Bhangra, Punjab

Bhangra Punjabi Dance

This is a most popular folk dance in Punjab, and dancers wear some classical style Punjabi dresses during their performance. Along with that, they also create some loud music through several instruments such as dhol, chimta and algoza.

Earlier, people used to perform this dace during their harvesting seasons, but now people in Punjab conduct some dance shows in their every festival including their marriage ceremony.

This dance is also very popular among the teenagers and you can find some Bhangra dance shows in foreign countries like USA, UK and Canada. Apart from this folk dance in Punjab, you can find some other similar folk dances such as dhamaal, fulka, siakoti, mirzi, fumnian, jhummar and sammi.

Giddha, Punjab

This is a similar dance form of Bhangra, which is performed by female dancers in Punjab.

This is an energetic dance form which is also known as ring dance and this dance is also similar to bolliyan dances.

On the other part, when male dancers perform the same dance, it is generally renamed as Malwai Giddha.

Kikkli, Punjab

Two girls hold their hand and twirl each other in a circular position and they also lift their feet from the floor and synchronize the dance between two dancers.

This is a popular folk dance in Punjab and dancers this dace with their own groups. Local folk songs and clapping are used during this dance performance.

Chhau dance, Odisha

Chhau is one of the most traditional and popular dance forms in India which is originated from Nilagiri region of Baleswar district. This is an elegant dance form where two groups of dancers wear costumes imitating soldiers, and they attack each other with swords and shields.

These dancers enhance the movement of their dance, with the accompaniment of some instrumental music, and a large group of musicians is involve with this dance. The dancers usually try to accompany with the rhythm of Dhola, Mahuri, Dhumsa and Chanchadi.

Goti Pua, Odisha

Goti means ‘one’ and Pua means ‘boy’ and Goti Pua is a dance form which is performed by a male dancer in a form of female avatar. A boy who dresses up as a girl called as Goti Pua and this is an ancient Indian dance from which was performed by the students of the akhadas.

Akadas means gymnasia and you find many akadas in Puri of Odisha where many people (boys only) practice some bodybuilding and wrestling. According to the Vaishanava doctrines, men cannot perform any dance with women and if the act needed any female character then a men from the respective group can dress up as female dancer.

Still now, you can find many schools in Puri where boys used to perform on this dance form from the age of six, and they can start their own dance schools as master in this dance after eight years of training.

This dance is a popular folk dance where you can find some ornamental presentation of male body, and many musical instruments are associated with this dance form such as pakhawaj, geeni and harmonium. Here the boys can sing during the dance performance or else they can also appoint a group of singers to provide the background music.

Baagh Naach, Odisha

This dance form is also known as tiger dance and it originated from Binka and Sonepur district of Odisha. Some male dancers also perform this dance, and male dancers first paint their bare body with some black and yellow stripes and attach a false tail at their back portion.

Then they used to move from one house to another house of their village and gather the audience for their dance. Drummer and a bell player constantly provide background music during this dance performance and this is just like the acrobatic movements of male performers in rhythm. They also use to make some hissing sounds during their performance and this dance is also performed during the Thakurani Jatra in Berhampur.

Dalkhai, Odisha

Dalkhai Odisha

Odisha is a place of performing arts and you can find many folks and tribal dance forms in Odisha. Dusserah is one of the biggest Indian festivals and you can see this Dalkhai dance in Odisha during this festival.

Apart from that, this dance is also performed during other festivals too and you can see the same dance performance during Bhaijintia, Phagun Puni and Nuakhai. This is a tribal dance, which is performed by many tribal communities like, Kuda, Mirdha, Balangir, Sundargarh, Naupada and Sama.

Girls perform the dance and many types of musical instruments create some vibes behind the stage, and some of the musical instruments, which are associated with this dance forms, are Dhol, Nisan, Mahuri and Tamki and Tasa. Here the dancers perform with the Dhol players on stage and the Dhol players also accompany with the female dancer accordingly.

Dhap, Odisha

Basically unmarried boys and girls from different villages participate in this dance performance and they conduct some couple dance.

Dhap is a sambalpuri folk dance and you can see this dance performance in Kosal regions and the dance is performed by Kandha tribe. Dhap is a musical instrument, which is made with wood, and one side of this instrument is covered with some animal skin. The dancers used to hold this dhap instrument in their left hand and perform with the rhythm.

Gumra, Odisha

This is also a Sambalpuri dance form, which is also known as Vira-Badya. Earlier people used to perform on this dance form to encourage the soldiers. Dancers can easily perform some social act through this dance form, and they can also generate some social messages through their dances.

In this dance, you can find a special drum, which is made with some reptile skin, and this sounds very uncanny. The dance is basically performed during the Ghumra Puni festival of Odisha and dancers create some circle and do some slow circular movement at the beginning of the dance.

The drum players use to stay in the centre of these circles, and they use to control the dancers with their rhythm. After few minutes, the singer comes to the scene and sings the Saraswati mantra, without any background music. And then the dancers start their dancing on the beats of drums.

Karma Naach, Odisha

Karma Naach Odisha

Karma means the ‘Fate’ and this dance is mainly performed during the festivals in Sambalpur.

An occasion started from Bhadra Shukla Ekadashi or the eleventh day of full moon and people used to dance on their folk music to remove their bad fortune, and this dance is performed for the god and goddess named Karam Devta and Karmasani Devi.

This is a local folk dance in Odisha and it is also performed during different festivals in separate regions of the state.

Keisabadi, Odisha

This is a folk dance in Odisha which is performed by men only, and they used to hold some long sticks and striking these sticks according to their song and rhythms. The leader used to sing the main song, which is called as ‘Kosli’ and people used to follow the rhythm and pronounce ‘Haido’ after every stanza of the song. This song is mainly dedicated to the love of Radha and Krishna.

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Garadi, Puducherry

This dance form has a mythological background and according to the Hindu epic Ramayana, when God Rama defeated Ravana, then the vanars or monkeys performed this dace as a symbol of victory.

The dance performed in every festival in Puducherry and dancers act like monkey during this dace performance. They hold some sticks and dance on the rhythm of drums. These drums are known as ‘Ramadolus’, and dancers wear some ankle rings called ‘anjali’ during this dance performance.

Through these rings they can create some melodious sound and along with this sound, the large size drums accompany the feet movements of the dancers.

Ghoomar, Rajasthan

The female dancers perform this dance and they wear some long colorful skirt and Rajasthani dresses during their performance. Men and women together sing some local folk songs as the background music, and dancers dance in a circle position.

The performers on the folk music, beating their palm on the ground during the low tone of the music and they also do somebody inclination during at the end of their performance.

You can also find this dance performance during your travel time, and if you request for this dance performance to your travel guide then they can also organize the same.

Kalbelia, Rajasthan

Kalbelia Rajasthan

This is one of the ancient tribal dance forms in Rajasthan, which is performed by the Kalbeliya community or Snake charmers. This is a tribal women’s group of the Kalbelia community and the main occupation of this community was catching snakes and trade their venom.

But now they don’t follow this profession and instead more into dancing as professionals. Dancers black long skirts along with some Rajasthani heavy ornaments and they also dance with some community groups.

The background music is basically done by ‘been’ or folk instruments and people can enjoy this tribal dance during their community festival or during special occasions.

You can get a chance to enjoy the live performance of Kalbelia with Rajasthan tour.

Kachchhi Ghodi, Rajasthan

Kachchhi Ghodi Rajasthan

This dance mainly originated from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and dancers wear some horse costumes during this performance. Singers generally sing some folk tales with local music, and dancers perform on the beats of these songs.

This dance is commonly performed during community marriage ceremonies, and dancers perform this dance to welcome the bridegroom’s party on their marriage day. The dance movements signify liveliness and a welcome gesture during the marriage ceremonies.

Parai Attam, Tamil Nadu

Parai Attam Tamil Nadu

This is one of the oldest traditional folk dances in Tamil Nadu, which is performed by trained dancers only. Through this dance performance, people used to deliver some social messages such as warning for upcoming wars, leave the battlefield, victory and save water body of Tamil Nadu.

This dance performance is conducted for several reasons such as for protecting animals; encouraging farmers to do the better harvesting and people perform this dance during several festivals including their marriage ceremonies, and social gatherings.

Apart from that, you can also find a popular folk dance in Tamil Nadu called as Kummi, which is performed during the festive season. Dancers perform this dance in a circle position and they clap their hands to make some rhythm during their performance.

Kaaragattam, Tamil Nadu

This folk dance in Tamil Nadu is basically performed by the villagers to praise the rain goddess Mari Amman. The dance performed in two different ways such as Aatta Karagam and Sakthi Karagam. Dancers use to hold some decorated water pots on their head during the performance of Atta Karagam and this is purely dedicated to the goddess. On the other part, Sakthi Karagam is performed inside the temple for the entertaining purpose.

Earlier these dances were performed with the Naiyandi Melam and now these dances performed with several songs and music. Some trained artists from different regions including Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Tirunelveli, and Pattukottai come to perform this dance during the annual festival of Tamil Nadu.

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Kolattam, Tamil Nadu

Kolattam Tamil Nadu

The women dancers perform this dance and they hold some sticks in their hand and beat these sticks to make some rhythm. You can find some colorful laces, which have been used by the dancers, and they use deft dance movements skip over these laces with their planned dancing steps.

This dance is basically conducted for ten days starting from the Amavasi or new moon night after Diwali. Most of the dancers come from different villages and they also wear some colorful local dresses during their performance.

Mayil Attam, Tamil Nadu

Mayil Attam Tamil Nadu

This is also known as peacock dance and dancers used to wear some dresses decorated with peacock feathers and they used to cover their head with some glittering dress materials.

You can find some other similar dance in Tamil Nadu such as Kaalai Attam which is performed by the local dancers and they used to wear some bull dress, and Karadi Attam, where dancers dressed as a bear.

Paampu Attam, Tamil Nadu

Paampu Attam Tamil Nadu
This is also known as snake dance and rural people think that snake can protect their life from severe diseases, and local young girls mainly perform this dance and they used to wear some snake-like dresses.

These dancers try to imitate the writing and creeping of snakes, and making some biting movements with their head and hands.

Oyilattam, Tamil Nadu

Oyilattam Tamil Nadu

This is a dance of grace and this traditional dance is mainly performed by the men in Tamil Nadu. Men used to stand in a row and perform this dance according to the rhythm, but due to huge popularity of these dance shows, now many women dancers also participate in these dance performances.

Dancers used to perform this dance with some colorful handkerchiefs and they used to wear some ankle bells also. The folk background music which is accompanied with this dance is called Thavil.

Puliyattam, Tamil Nadu

Puliyattam Tamil Nadu

Earlier people used to conduct some folk dances in Tamil Nadu, which was known as Puli Attam and this dance form was also known as a play of the tiger. In this dance form, people used to act some tiger steps and their bodies are painted by yellow and black color, and this is symbolized the replica of a tiger only.

There are various musical instruments performed with this dace such as tharai, thappattai and lots more, and this dance is mainly performed during the temple festival of Tamil Nadu.

Poikal Kudirai Attam, Tamil Nadu

Poikal Kudirai Attam, Tamil Nadu

This folk dance is known as false legs dance in Tamil Nadu where dancers wear some dresses and they act like a horse. This is a traditional folklore dance which is based on the theme of ‘raja Sedingu’, who was known as a popular Rajput ruler.

Apart from that, you can also find another interesting traditional dance form in Tamil Nadu which is known as Bommalattam. This is basically a poppet show which is conducted during the festivals of Tamil Nadu villages.

Through these poppet shows, people can generate some social messages and they can also conduct their shows on some Hindu epics and mythological stories.

Theru Koothu, Tamil Nadu

Theru Koothu, Tamil Nadu

This dance basically conducted during the village festival and you can find the greatest Theru Kootu dance performances during Panguni and Aadi festivals. Only men can perform this dance and they wear some women dresses to play the roles of women.

Dancers do some heavy make-ups and they wear some traditional dresses as well as dramatic costumes. Through this dance performance, they do some storytelling, dialogue rendering and sing some background songs also.

Most of the stories, which are performed through this dance forms are derived from Hindi epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. You can find different forms of Theru Koothu dance in Tamil Nadu such as Vali Koothu and Kuravai Koothu.

Hojagiri, Tripura

Hojagiri, Tripura

This is one of the oldest traditional dance forms of the Reang community of Tripura. Men and women both participate in this dance performance and during this dance, they move their lower body, and clap their feet on the earth.

Along with that, dancers also hold some bottle lamps on their head during this performance, and they fine-tune their bodies to balance these bottles on their head throughout their dance performance.

The colorful lamps and the ornaments and gorgeous dresses enrich this dance performance to some highest level, and you can find this dace on every occasion conducted by the respected community.

Mayur Nritya, Uttar Pradesh

Mayur Nritya, Uttar Pradesh

This dance is also known as peacock dance and girls use to dress as peacocks and they placed some peacock’s feathers on their head. Through this dance performance, dancers basically imitate the love story of Radha and Krishna.

According to ancient Hindu mythology, when Radha wanted to see the Mayur Nritya, Lord Krishna used to portray himself as the peacock and he danced in front of Radha.

Charukala, Uttar Pradesh

Charukala, Uttar Pradesh

This is a traditional Indian folk dance, which mainly originated from Brij region of Uttar Pradesh and the local women perform the dance only.

They use to hold some large multi-colored wooden pyramid on their head and lighten more than 108 lamps on the ground, and then they then start dancing on ‘raisa’ songs.

The song is dedicated to Lord Krishna and you can see this dance show in various festivals of India.

Gambhira, West Bengal

Gambhira, West Bengal

Gambhira is a theatre cum folk dance performing art which was mainly originated from Maldah in West Bengal. After the partition of Bengal, people started performing some local theatre to presented sole Hindu folk cultures, and after that Gambhira has undergone some changes in the term of presentation.

Now Muslim communities also perform the dance in different forms and Muslim dancers used to wear some local dresses such as Lungi and Kurtas. Through this theatre and dance form, people highlight some social problems and encourage the audience to avoid such issues to save their future and health from social evils.

Alkap, West Bengal

Alkap, West Bengal

You can see this dance performance during the Gajan festival and this festival is mainly conducted during the month of April. This dance is mainly performed in Maldah, Murshidabad and Rajmahal Hills. This is a performing art which is conducted by small groups and each Alkap group consist minimum twelve performers.

There are not scripts as such and people used to present some love story through their theatre. Along with that, they include some dance, song, acting and recitation in their act and the leader of each group is known as the Sorkar or Guru.

You can find three Chhokras, two to three Gayan or Gayok or singers and Dohars (Chorus) in all groups, and along with that, you can also see some group of instrumentalists in each group called Bajnadars.

Domni, West Bengal

Domni, West Bengal

Domni is one of the most popular dance forms, comprising Vandana or dedication to the folk almighty. The main singer or ‘gayen’ along with the supporting ‘chhokras’ offer dedication to the almighty in the forms of Nachari or Lachari dance movements. Satire, folklore, songs and local drama are part of this dance form. The dance beats get vigorous with the accompaniment of harmoniums and table.

Apart from that, you can also find popular dances in West Bengal, which is known as ‘Chow Naach’, and in this dance form, you can see some colorful dresses and lots of masks. People perform this dance in the remote villages of West Bengal. Now in the popular city of Bengal, people can also find a local dance called ‘Paglu’ dance and this dance was basically first performed by a Bengali actor Dev.

So if you want to see the real India then you must see these Indian folk and tribal dances from different regions. Different states have separate tastes, and you should try their local foods and visit the local villages to know about their culture, dance forms, theatre, songs and music. Somewhere, you can find some dramatic presentation of the tribal dance form and in some region you can find some colorful dance performance performed by local dancers. So taste the flavor of India, see the multi-dimensional cultural synopsis and go through some historical and traditional art forms of India.

Singhi Chaam, Sikkim

Singhi Chaam, Sikkim

This is a mask dance of Sikkim, which also presents the symbol of a state through the dance performance.

This dance is dedicated to the guardian deity of Sikkim Guru Padmasambhava and through this dance form, people also represent their hill folks by wearing some furry costumes. You can find this colorful mask dance during the state festival of Sikkim.

Written By

Dharmendra Chahar

I am a kind of person who never misses a single chance of travelling and exploring novel places, as I believe I cannot read just one chapter of the book, called life.

Further Reads

25 Replies to “Indian folk and tribal dances”

  1. Yay google is my queen helped me to find this great information on Indina Classical Dances. I am a big fan of kathakali.

    1. No Suresh. Its folk dance. The article is about both folk and tribal dances of India.

  2. Wow! Thank you! Absolutely complete information I was looking for one of my research topic. Can I take a part of your post with a due credit ?

  3. Please also write about the cultural activities near Dindori District. Like Gudum Dance, Karma, Reena, Saila Dance etc.

    Thank You

  4. Sir, there are many dances in India how can I remember totally for my UPSC exam and please provide rest dances that you could not cover here. Thank you very much for sending great information.

  5. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case, I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  6. In India, each state has its own form of folk dance. India is a country known for culture and folk dances. From this blog of Karle Dance, you can know about Folk dances of India.

  7. Awesome blog, all state dance are in one post best. Good Job & thank you for sharing this type of blog more informational.. thank you

  8. Once again, a very well-written article! You have included every minute detail of each dance, which can captivate any reader. How do you manage to craft such wonderful content? Your writing skills are amazing, providing perfect information about everything. After reading this article, I don’t think users will need any other source to learn about Indian folk and tribal dances.

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