Arunachal Pradesh's populace is well known for their exuberant festivities and captivating dance performances. The state's tribes unite together to display their traditional dress, jewelry, music, and dancing at each festival. These mesmerizing folk dances tell tales of bravery that have been passed down orally over the ages, adding to the joyous occasion.
These dances also act as a portal to the outside world, offering an insight into their rich cultural past. Their ancient folk dances are a sight to behold, and their festivals are observed with tremendous enthusiasm. Come explore the fascinating world of Arunachal's traditional dances with us. The following is a list of 11 exquisite Arunachal Pradesh folk dances:
The Rikhampada with its vitality is one of the merriest and most revered folk dances of Arunachal Pradesh. They can be traced down to the Nyishi tribes who are parts of the Lower Subansiri District of the state and are the largest tribe. The Nyishi people usually dances this during the highly attended Nyokum festival.
Rikhampada Dance was supposedly introduced by the Abotanis to the Nyishis according to its history. This dance has become an intrinsic aspect of their cultural inheritance, and its upbeat and vibrant steps have remained appealing to audiences until today.
Kamptis community which is the followers of Buddhism has a very rich heritage of many dance performances that narrate their history and many tales. The dance plays are integral to the many festivals like Khamsang, Sankian, and Potwah, and are also very savored by all. Villagers hand-deliver the invitations for the party, to be attended by the dramatists. Rehearsals for the dance-drama start one month before the festival in a monastery or any other designated location during the festival days.
The performance is held in a open courtyard among the dwellings with the musical instruments like gongs and also cymbals besides. Since women are hardly seen in the theater acts, men put on the female clothing to play the female roles. After their act, the drama party receive a cash prize that they use to buy many costumes and also masks in preparation for the succeeding plays. Any excess will be distributed to all the participants of the theater.
The Idu Mishmi people of Arunachal Pradesh perform both reproductive and ritual dances. The fertility dance that is usually done on the last day of the Rren ceremony is a popular form of expression. The Mesalah, Rren, Aihim, and Aihm rites are conducted by the priest and the priestesses with drums accompanying the dances.
The priest is usually clothed in a loincloth, short-sleeved jacket, beaded necklace, leather bag slung over the right shoulder, sword, cowry studded headband, tiger tooth necklace, and a few metal bells. In the meanwhile, the priestess wears Mishmis with beaded necklaces and short-sleeved clothes. During the dance, the horn bugles, and drums are frequently played.
The dance is put on by the priest and priestess alternating and they have many dancing movements to choose from. Dancers are selected from the crowd as well as the priest and priestess.
Every home celebrates Dree with excitement, and ladies show their love and affection to their elder brother, sister, son-in-law, guests, and others by presenting them with a glass of rice beer, which is typically prepared at home. The giver expresses gratitude by offering the recipient a slice of bacon or roasted meat in exchange.
The rhythmic beats of dancing and music complete festivals and other joyous moments. The popular Daminda and Pakhu Ittu are just two of the many traditional dances performed by the Apatani tribes. Sung by the women and children of the community, "Daminda" is a traditional folk song that is intimately related to the Dree celebration and recalls the splendor of the ancient Apatanis.
The English translation of the word Bardo Chham is "Dance of the Zodiacs". In the same way that there are twelve zodiac signs, the people of Sherdukpens believe that there are twelve evils, one for every month of the year. They appear throughout the year as different animals.
Sherdukpens use the Bardo Chham dance to express this message throughout numerous local festivities. Members of the Sherdukpens community, both sexes, dance the Bardo Chham. They hold a very special place in their hearts for this dance. By depicting the evils that humanity must face and defeat, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
The Popir dance, performed by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, is well known. This tribe holds several festivals throughout the year. Perhaps the dance is a homage to the goddess Mopin Ape, who is considered the goddess of abundance and procreation. She is one of the Galo tribe's most beloved goddesses.
The Ponung dance, a major religious event for the Adi tribe, is done by dancing girls and women forming a circle, where they pray to God before the harvest season, with a male Miri singing a folk song and playing the Yoksha instrument.
The song takes us through the history of the Adis, the roots of their crops and many other things. Instrumentalists of the Miri also play some other instruments not only the Yoksha. It has a sword-like form, and he shakes it while singing.
The Adi tribe's well-known traditional dance, Pasi Kongki, honors the courageous Pasi who risked their lives to bring necessary supplies to the villages via song and dance. It is a distinctive display of their rich culture.
A key component of the Oriah celebration, which the Wancho tribe celebrates in the spring months of March and April, is the Wancho dance, which unites the tribe's members and fosters a sense of camaraderie.
The Nocte tribe of Arunachal Pradesh celebrates the Chalo Loku festival in October and November each year to say goodbye to the previous season and welcome the new one of paddy farming. A major component of the celebration is the Chalo dance.
Digaru Mishmi men and women dance the cheerful Bhuiya dance, which is performed during holidays such as Tazampu, Duiya, and Tanuya and is commonly performed following large feasts or family get-togethers.