Daily Archives: December 17, 2010

Karma Naach: Sambalpuri Folk Dance

Karma Naach is Sambalpuri Folk Dance. Karam or Karma literally means ‘fate’ in Kosli (Sambalpuri language). This pastoral Sambalpuri folk dance is performed during the worship of the god or goddess of fate (Karam Devta or Karamsani Devi), whom the people consider the cause of good and bad fortune. It begins from Bhadra Shukla Ekadasi (eleventh day of the full tmoon of the month of Bhadra) and lasts for several days.

This is popular among the scheduled class tribes (e.g., the Binjhal, Kharia, Kisan and Kol) in the districts of Balangir, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Mayurbhanj. This dance is in honour of Karamsani, the deity who bestows children and good crops.

After the puja is done it is followed by singing and dancing in accompaniment of drum (maandal), cymbal, etc. The dance performance full of vigour and energy combined with charm of the youth decked with colourful costumes in exuberance of red cloth, set in peacock feathers, skillfully designed ornaments made of small conch shells, brings the onlookers as well as the performers to a mood of trance and ecstasy. Everyone takes part and continues to engross themselves for the whole night.

The skillful movement of the boys with mirrors in hand indicates the traditional pattern of love-making in course of dancing and singing. The dance is performed sometimes by boys in group, sometimes by girls in group and sometimes both together. The subject matter of songs constitutes the description of nature, invocation to Karmasani, desires, aspiration of people, love and humour.

DALKHAI DANCE

Though Dusserah is the occasion of Dalkhai the most popular folk-dance of western Orissa, its performance is very common on all other festivals such as Bhaijauntia, Phangun Puni, Nuakhai etc. This is mostly danced by young women of Binjhal, Kuda, Mirdha, Sama and some other tribes of Sambalpur, Bolangir, Sundargarh and Dhenkanal districts of Orissa in which men join them as drummers and musicians. The dance is accompanied by a rich orchestra of folk music played by a number of instruments known as Dhol, Nisan (a typically giant sized drum made of iron case), Tamki (a tiny one sided drum 6″ in diameter played by two sticks), Tasa (a one sided drum) and Mahuri. However, the Dhol player controls the tempo while dancing in front of the girls. It is known as Dalkhai because in the beginning and end of every stanza the word is used as an address to a girl friend.

The love story of Radha and Krishna, the episodes from Ramayana and Mahabaharata, the description of natural scenery are represented through the songs. The young women dance and sing intermittently. The songs are of special variety with the additive ‘Dalkhai Bo’ which is an address to a girl-friend. While dancing to the uncanny rhythms of the Dhol, they place the legs close together and bend the knees. In another movement they move forward and backward in a half-sitting position. Sometimes they make concentric circles clock-wise and anti-clock-wise.

The women generally dress themselves with the colourful Sambalpuri Sari and wear a scarf on the shoulders holding the ends below in both the hands. Bedecked with traditional jewelry their robust framers sustain the strains of the dance for long hours. The Dalkhai dance has several adjunctive forms known as Mayalajada, Rasarkeli, Gunji kuta, Jamudali, Banki, Jhulki, Sainladi etc. On account of its style,theme and performance Dalkhai is basically a secular form.

A short film on Sambalpuri Dance (DALKHAI)