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Dancing Tribes Of Rajasthan

Music and dance are such an essential part of tribal life that professional musicians and dancers are profuse. The 'garasia' tribals inhabit the Abu Road and Pindwara tehsils of Sirohi district and the neighbouring territories of Kotra, Gogunda and Kherwara tehsils of Udaipur district; Bali and Desuri of Pali district. They have folklore enriched with folktales, proverbs, riddles and folk music.


The most famous 'bhil¿ dance is the 'gowari', a dance drama. Troupes of these dancers go from village to village for a month, during which the nine functionaries follow a strict regimen. The main characters are Rai Buriya Shiva, his two 'Rais¿, and 'Katkuria', the comic handyman. Between the enactment of various episodes, the entire troupe dances around a central spot consecrated to a deity. A 'madal' and a 'thali' accompany the dance.

The ghoomar is the characteristic dance of 'bhils'. Men and women sing alternately and move clockwise & anti-clockwise giving free and intended play to the ample folds of the 'ghagra'.

The music of the primitive group of 'sahariyas' (Sourias) of Shahbad, Kota, shows Central Indian links, with their songs speaking of Ram and Sita. The fairs of the 'Meenas' had a lot of free dancing, which is unfortunately on the decline.

Vibrant, zealous, graceful, serpentine, lugubrious and martial, the dance and music of Rajasthan evoke the desert in all its moods. It is the most lilting tribute to the spectacular beauty, the pulsating sinuousness and the brutal harshness of the landscape, and to the hardiness and heroism of the people who live in this 'Land of the Kings'.


Walar is an important dance of the 'garasias' which is a prototype of the 'ghoomar' dance. The beats of the 'mandal', 'chang' and a variety of other instruments, which provide a lively rhythm to their dance sequences, generally accompany their dances.

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