5 Spectacular Folk Dances Of Assam

Folk music and folk dances are an essential part of every tribe and tradition. People have a great deal of emotional attachment to them because lyrically, and musically, it reflects how people live, think, and breathe. In this post, we will take you through 5 of them.
5 Spectacular Folk Dances Of Assam
5 Spectacular Folk Dances Of Assam

Folk dances in Assam are representative of its people and their lives, just like any traditional art form. Assam is a beautiful melange of several tribes and groups of people, and therefore it has several folk dances.

The rich, vibrant hues of clothing and songs speaking the stories of the inhabitants are nothing less than spectacular.

1. Bihu

Bihu Dance
Bihu DanceFolk Dances Of Assam

Bihu holds great importance to everyone living in Assam. It is beyond just a festival. It is an emotion. The celebration is huge. Bihu dance is performed on TV, on big stages, and even locally. The colors are bright and beautiful, and the sound of the traditional "Dhul", "Pepah", "Gogona", echoes in all directions during April-May. There is more than one style of Bihu and therefore, people adorn themselves in slightly different colored "sador mekhela", depending on the region. Men wear "Phulam Gamusa", a turban, cotton or silk shirt, and a Dhoti. 

Nevertheless, this is one of the most uniting festivals and is truly one of the biggest treasures of Assam. The dance moves are quite energetic and the speed and intensity of those moves are matched with the tempo and intensity of the instruments. It originated as a courtship dance, and with time, it evolved.

2. Bagurumba

BagurumbaFolk Dances Of Assam

Bagurumba is a group dance performed by married and unmarried Bodo women alike.  It is commonly dubbed the butterfly dance. It is named so due to the signature dance moves where the dancing women hold on to their scarf with both hands, and sways together in unison. It literally reminds you of colorful butterflies. The bright yellow-colored clothing is worn in the traditional Bodo style, and it looks spectacular. Overall, the visuals that come to mind when you watch a Bagurumba dance are nature, birds, rivers flowing, etc. These are reflective of the simple, rural origin of the Bodo people and they are very connected to nature. 

3. Jhumur

JhumurFolk Dances Of Assam

Jhumur belongs to the tea tribes of Assam, and it is truly one of the most beautiful group dances that you can witness. The tea tribes are an important community as they take care of the most important industry in Assam i.e tea. They are very independent and hardworking people and dancing was a way to relax after a hard day's work. 

Women dress up in white sarees with red borders, wear anklets, and apply "Alta" on their hands and feet. They form a chain by holding each other's waist.  It is a dance of unity and joy. Jhumur has several variations and it completely depends upon the occasion, whether it is devotional courtship, or anything else. The man plays the drum, and the women sing and gracefully match their dance with the music.

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4. Bhortal

Bhortal Dance belongs to the Barpeta district of Assam and it originated from the Sankari culture. It is quite an expressive and vigorous dance group form and can be performed by both young and old males. 

The dancers use cymbals in their hands during the performance. They move energetically and make several formations and arrangements throughout the performance. They also simultaneously keep playing their cymbals rhythmically, based on the drum beats playing in the background. 

5. Ali-Ai Ligang

Ali-Ai Ligang
Ali-Ai LigangFolk Dances Of Assam

Ali-Ai Ligang is a folk dance of the Mishing tribe. It is one of the most distinct dance forms and looks beautiful. Just like Bihu, it is associated with agriculture. "Ali" in the Mishing language means roots and "Ai" means fruit. Similarly, "Ligang" means "sowing". It falls during the season when Ahu paddy is sowed. 

There is no holding back during the festivities and people of every age group celebrate Ali-Ai Ligang with great enthusiasm and spirit. The costumes are usually in a combination of red and black colors and the pretty dance is performed to honor mother earth.

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