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Bihu dance and other popular folk dance forms of Assam

Assam is widely known for its wildlife, tea plantations and archaeological sites. This state has a bountiful of temples and agricultural land. Adding to the feathers in its cap are the exquisite folk dances including the famous Bihu dance. The most prominent folk dance forms of Assam are as follows:

Bihu- Most prominent amongst folk dance forms of Assam

The traditional Bihu dance is done during the festival of Bihu in Assam. The people wear traditional and colorful clothes. Both male and female dancers take part in this dance. Drums are an essential instrument in this dance and are traditionally called dhol which is operated using a single stick. The dancers form a circle or a straight line and dance to the tune of the dhol.

There are specific hip, arm and postures in this dance. However, there are subtle differences between the dance of the males and females. The dance is highly brisk synchronized with the swaying and suave movements of the arms and the body.

Bihu Dance, folk dance forms of Assam - Mythical India
Bihu Dance, the famous folk dance performed during Bihu Festival

Bihu dance is performed mainly during the period after the completion of harvest. The festivities continue for a month. There are many contemporary forms of this dance. Some of them are – Bihu deori, Bihu missing etc.


Jhumar Nach, Assam

Jhumar is one of the most important folk dance forms of Assam performed by the tea workers of Assam. After a long day of toil and hard work, the tea workers or the tea tribes (also known as Adivasis) indulge in dance and music to break the monotony of their life and to spread happiness throughout.

Jhumar Dance, folk dance forms of Assam - Mythical India
Jhumar Dance, the popular folk dance of Assam

Both men and women take part in this dance and this dance involves high accuracy of footwork and graceful but flexible movements to perform this dance. The musical instrument used is something similar to that of a drum, called as Mandar. This sensational dance brings smiles and happiness upon the face of the dancers.


Bagurumba folk Dance Assam

This dance is performed by the Bodo community of Assam. This dance is also called as the butterfly dance. This dance has relatively slow steps with high formations that dazzle the audience.

This dance is performed during mid- April especially during the season of Bishuba Sankranti. The formations done by the dancers include butterfly and birds. This dance is also called as Bardwishika dance.

The Bagurumba folk dance of Assam - Mythical India
The Bagurumba folk dance of Assam

 This dance is mainly performed by girls alone. The dancers don their traditional Bodo attire and sway gracefully to the tunes of the musical instrument- a wooden drum covered with goatskin and tharkha.


Ali Ai Ligang Dance

This dance is highly popular among the Mishing community of Assam. This festival is interlinked with agriculture and is celebrated during the Ahu paddy cultivation. They also perform this dance to praise their deity- the Mother Earth.

Ali means root or seed, Ai means fruit and Ligang means sowing. This festival takes place during the months of February and March. Tree cutting is forbidden during this season and certain exotic dishes are cooked.

The dance form expresses the ups and downs of man’s life and is aptly portrayed. The musical instruments used mainly are flutes, drums, gong and so on.

The ali ai ligang festival of the mishings in assam - Mythical India
The ali ai ligang festival of the mishings in assam


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