Folk and Tribal Dances of Chhattisgarh

Folk Dances of Chhattisgarh: Saila Dance/Image Credit: Sanskritik Chhattisgarh
Like every other state of India, Chhattisgarh is imbibed by different colors of folk and traditional dance forms. And here are some of the popular dance forms of Chhattisgarh:

Saila
Saila is the most popular folk dance of Chhattisgarh. It is performed by men after the harvest season in Hindu month of Aghan (November-December) to thank God for good crop and his blessings. It is a stick dance and very similar to Dandia-ras of Gujarat.

In Sarguja, Chhindwara, and Baitul region, the Saila dance is known as Danda Nach or Danda Pate.

The Saila performers are given paddy by villagers as a sign of gratitude. These performers wander village to village for the performance.

Karma
Karma dance is usually performed by tribal groups like Gonds, Baigas and Oraons of Chhattisgarh. It marks the end of rainy season and starting of spring. The members perform this dance in order to please Karma god for his blessings. An iteration of the dance form is also performed by tribals groups of adjoining Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and other regions.

Sua Nach
Sua Nach (or Suwa Nach) is performed by womenfolks of Gonds and Baigas tribes on the occasions like marriage, birth, and festivities. Here Sua or Suwa means the parrot. Hence, it is also known as the Parrot Dance. The performers mimic the movement of a parrot and rants about happy moments in life.

Pandavani
Pandavani is the folk dance drama from Chhattisgarh. It is weaved around the story of Pandavas. There are two main styles followed in Pandavani: Vedamati and Kapalik. In Vedamati, the lead artist sits on the floor throughout the performance, whereas in Kapalik, lead artist narrates as well as performs in the dance drama.

Panthi
Panthi is a folk dance of the Satnami community of Chhattisgarh. The dance celebrates the legacy of Guru Ghasidas.

Raut Nacha
Raut Nacha, also known as the dance of cow herders, is a popular folk dance of Chhattisgarh. The dance is weaved around the childhood stories of Lord Krishna. It is usually performed on the Hindu festival of Dev-Uthani Ekadashi. It is believed that Lord Narayana wakes up from his sleep on this day. Raut Nacha closely resembles Raslila of Uttar Pradesh.

Gendi
Gendi translates into "stick" in the local language of Chhattisgarh. Hence, it can be said stick dance of Jharkhand. The dancers are mounted on two sticks and maneuver through the group of other dancers.

Jhirliti
Jhirliti is a local dance form of Bastar region. It is performed by kids and does not have any fixed pattern. Kids usually paint their faces with chalk, colors and ashes and wear worn-out clothes. They dance in circles around the village houses and collects eatables from each house.

Rahas
Rahas (or Raas) is a folk dance drama performed in the Dhamtari and neighboring region. It is weaved around the love story of Lord Krishna and Radha.

Other popular traditional and folk dances from the Chhattisgarh are Gaur Dance, Muria Dance, Bhagoriah Dance, Gavar Dance, and Pali dance.

Also Read: Folk Dances of India