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Folk Art from various parts of India - Celebration of Religious Beliefs, Culture & Joyous Events

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Well Known Folk Dances from East & South India


In addition to the Classical Dance Forms of India which are performed all across India, folk dances are also quite well known, especially in the small villages and towns. Indian Folk Dances - West & North India

A Way of Life - The beauty of folk dances is second to none. India is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and the folk dances of India celebrate this culture in the best possible way. In the numerous villages and towns of India, folk dances are performed during celebrations such as on special occasions, wish fulfillment, harvest, festivals or religious ceremonies. It is a time when people come together and indulge in an art form which is traditional and in their blood.

Let's take a look at some of the beautiful folk dances of East India and South India -

1. Folk Dances of East India -

  • Bamboo Dance, Mizoram - Also known as "Cheraw", the Bamboo dance is one of the most popular and loved dance of the people of Mizoram. The use of bamboo sticks is an essential part of this dance form. While some dancers place the bamboo sticks horizontally on the ground and move them, the other dancers step across and between the sticks in an "in and out motion". The sticks produce a clapping sound, producing an interesting sound. To perform this dance, practice, skills and alertness are very important.
  • Hazagiri Dance, Tripura - Being a harvest dance, the Hazagiri is performed in the hope of a good harvest. Through this dance, the dancers hope to receive the blessings of Goddess Hazagiri, a form of Goddess Lakshmi. The women dancers place pots on their heads and dance to a slow tempo. Slowly, men dancers also join in and the tempo increases towards the end of the dance.
  • Karma or Munda Dance, Bihar - Performed by men and women together, the Karma dance is a traditional folk dance of Bihar. After planting the trees, the dancers dance in circles around the trees.
  • Bihu Dance, Assam - The Bihu dance is a very popular and loved folk dance of Assam. A part of the Bihu festival, this dance is performed by young boys and girls who form separate groups and perform the dance in the open. The Bihu dance takes place after harvesting has been completed.
  • Vrita or Brita Dance, West Bengal - A popular folk dance from Bengal, the Brita dance is performed by women in the rural areas to ask for God's blessings. While some women perform this dance after recovering from a serious illness, others do it after wish fulfillment.
  • Kali Dance or Kali Naach - As the name signifies, the Kali Nach is performed to honour the great Goddess Kali. During the dance, the dancer wears a mask and is also known to hold a sword.
  • Dalkhai Dance, Orissa - Native to the Sambalpur district of Orissa, the 'Dalkhai' dance is performed by women while the men add flavour to the dance by playing musical instruments

2. Folk Dances of South India -

  • Kuttiyattam Dance, Kerala - The theme of the Kuttiyattam dance is mythology. Kuttiyattam means acting together and that is essence of this traditional dance form. The stage is taken over by 2-3 performers who recite verses in Sanskrit language.
  • Kummi Dance, Tamil Nadu - Danced by women, the Kummi dance has its roots in Tamil Nadu. The women come together in a circle and dance while clapping their hands.
  • Dollu Kunitha Dance, Karnataka - Also known as the "Drum Dance", the Dollu Kunitha is a popular folk dance from Karnataka. During the dance, men beat the drums which they carry around their neck. The drum is highly decorated and is used to play strong beats.


Some of the other Tribal dances from South of India include Dandaria Dance, Karagam Dance, etc.

Folk Dances of West & North India




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