folk dances reflect rich cultural heritage, vibrant life style,
love, hard work and the struggle of local people to survive in
the adversaries. Kullu People are very fond of dances. They are
prompt to dance on occasions like, fairs
and festivals .
The Folk Dances of Kullu can be broadly grouped as-
Women Folk Dances
Charasay-Tarasay: This dance is
also called Birshu-Nirshu. It is performed in the months of March
and April. Only married women can take part in it. Any number
of dancers can participate. This dance is performed only on the
songs and the musical instruments are not played. It starts in
the evening and ends in the morning.
Only unmarried women perform this dance during fairs and marriage
ceremonies. The dance is accompanied only by songs. The musical
instruments aren't played during the dance. The dancers arrange
themselves in two rows facing each other. One of the rows starts
singing, dancing and moves towards the other row. Then they come
back to their previous positions. The other row of dancers follow
the same step.
Kahika Dance: Kahika dance is
performed on the occasion of Kahika fair. A man is made unconscious
for one or two hours by the divine power. He is called 'Naurh'.
The wife of Naurh, called Naurhan performs this dance. She dances
around the temple in front of the palanquin of the local deity.
Her dance expresses that she has offered her husband to the deity
and if he does not return back to consciousness, she will take
away all the belongings of the deity.
Men Folk Dances
Bandhu or Ghost Dance: This dance
takes place in January from 4: 00 A.M. to 6: 00 A.M. Because of
indecent songs and indecent behavior, which are an essential part
of the dance, women are forbidden to see it. The dancers get together
in the temple premises with torches in their hands. After dancing
there for some time they move to a particular place. They dance
at that place and move back to the temple. They light a campfire
called 'Jagra' before the temple. It is believed that after performing
the Bandhu dance the entire evil spirits ward off and the people
of the village live in peace and harmony.
Horn Dance: It is a traditional
dance of Kullu people, which is performed, in the cold and dark
nights of January. The story behind it is that the people performed
this dance to get rid of an evil king. He was so enchanted by
the dance that he did not realize that the dancers had cut his
throat. There are six dancers in the horn dance. Two of them disguise
themselves as a deer by covering themselves with a shawl and placing
horns on the head of the person who is in front. Two other dancers
are dressed up as clowns. Out of the rest one is dressed up as
a woman. They perform the dance in the temple and then go door
to door performing their act.
Deo Khel & Hulki Dance: Deo
Khel is a religious dance. The person who is dancing is believed
that he goes into trance (that God has entered his body). This
person is called Gur. When he starts dancing a procession is taken
out which is led by the Gur. The local people dance and follow
the palanquin of the deity. Hulki Dance is similar to Deo Khel.
Mixed Folk Dances (Men & Women)
Natti: Natti is the most popular
form of mixed dance. On special occasions the dancers dress up
in their traditional costumes. Generally there are twelve to sixteen
dancers but any number of dancers can take part as the dance progresses.
Usually they dance in a circle.
Apparently there are different kinds of natti, which differ in
style, rhythm and steps. Some of the popular ones are Dhili Natti,
Pheti Natti, Tinki Natti, Bushehri Natti, Dohri Natti, Lahauli
Natti, Janhujang, Bajuband, Kharhaya, Uzgazma and Utharhi Natti.