Folk Dance forms of India

The womenfolk of Tamil Nadu have three closely related dances, which can be performed at any time but are seen at their best during festivities. The simplest of these is the Kummi, in which the dancers gather in a circle and clap their hands as they dance. As an extension to this is the Kolattam, where instead of clapping, the participants hold small wooden rods in their hands and strike these in rhythm as they dance.

As part of the Muslim observence of Moharram, men disguised as tigers go about in the streets dancing what is known as Puli Vesham, Tiger Disguise.

Kargam is the most common form of folk dance in Tamil Nadu. Originally, it was dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of health and rain. The Kargam dance is essentially part of a ritual and is performed by men balancing pots filled with uncooked rice, surrounded by a tall conical bamboo frame covered with flowers. The musical accompaniment comprises a drum and a long pipe.

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