Folk Dance Of Jharkhand


Jharkhand dance forms are a medium of expressing one‘s feelings and the true nature of the vibrant culture of Jharkhand, some story or any other event. Most of these folk dances in Jharkhand are performed by the local tribes .The performance of folk dance in Jharkhand does not await the arrival of any particular festival; most of the dances are performed during all the important festivals and occasions such as welcoming the guests, change of seasons, etc. Some of the Jharkhand dances are as follows:-


Santhal is one of the most abundantly found tribes in India. A major chunk of this tribe can be found in West Bengal and Jharkhand. Santhal tribe has a rich cultural lineage and immense solidarity. Its members are basically the devotees of ‘Thakurji’, the deity they believe created this world. They move to the beats of music, to celebrate the glory of nature, raise a message and offer prayers to the presiding deity of their tribe, through a dance known as Santhal dance.

The Santhal dance is considered to be one of the best tribal folk dances of India, which offers immense vibrancy and cheerfulness. This dance is supposed to be a replica of the folk dance of Madhya Pradesh. Santhal dance is generally performed by both the men and women of the Santhali tribe. It often covers issues related to gender and land rights.

While performing, the male Santhali dancers are dressed up in dhoti and make use accessories, like turban, tree leaves, flowers and bushes, during the dance. The dance is basically performed on special occasions. During the spring festival, it is performed to the glory of nature. Santhali dance is accompanied with folk music instruments like flutes, pipes, drums and cymbals.


Jhumar is a dance form which was originated from the Sandal bar which is now the part of Pakistan. Even it is popular for one of the folk heritage in the state of Punjab. It is performed on the rhythm which is jhumar type performed with gait which is very graceful to perform.This dance form represents the ecstasy. Jhumar is a dance form which is performed by the men in order to show their happiness. It is the dance form which is performed during the festive time or during the marriage occasion.


It is performed by dancing in a circle direction. The dancers who performed this dance form moved in a circle direction around a drummer which is placed at the centre. While performing their dance form, they also sing a soft chorus.The custom of Jhumar is somewhat similar to the customs of Bhangra. Mainly this dance form is performed on the songs which are emotional in their nature. The posture of arms considered important during this dance form.


Paika is one of the most famous dance forms of Jharkhand. In fact, it is a dance form where martial arts is mixed with local dance steps. This dance form is only performed by the male members . To watch Paika dance is very interesting. It offers a thrilling entertainment to your eyes as the men dancers handle a sword in one hand and the shield in the other. They are dressed with safety chest plates and head wears for their protection. Bells are tied on their ankles to accompany with other musical instruments. This dance is accompanied by the melodious music of Narsingha, Shahnai, Bheir, Dhak and Nagara drums. The performers reach the climax with the fast beat of mandar. This folk dance of Jharkhand is also performed for welcoming guests during various functions. Paika is known as a ceremonial martial dance of Jharkhand and Bihar. In ancient times, it was played by paikas, the traditional warriors who  struggled for their kingdom. The descendents of these warriors are spread over in the rural areas of Jharkhand and Bihar, and most of them maintain this traditional dance. Presently, it is generally performed during weddings and festivals.


This is a dance that is performed by the males during the time of Hindu festival of Holi. This dance is mostly performed by men but women also join them occasionally. The dancers perform a series of joyous dance movements and throw colored water and powder around as they dance. The dance is accompanied by a loud recital of folk song, which is called Phag. The music is produced by huge drums, locally known as dhal.

phagua dance image

Chhou –

It is one of the main tribal dances of Jharkhand. This is a dance form that is performed in the tribal areas of Jharkhand as well as some parts of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The Chhou dance is performed in an open space or a ground field, generally at the night time. The dancing area is surrounded by the torches or fire poles called the mashaals, for lighting in the dark. The dancers take bath and perform puja before their performance. This is for maintaining the sacredness of the dance, because the characters in the dance are of those of various Gods. These dancers use colourful, big sized and decorative masks. Chhou dance is one of the tribal forms of the ?nritya natika‘ that means dance drama. Most of these Chhou dance performances are based on the stories of Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The dance is accompanied by the traditional nagada i.e. the drums, and the flute, which provide the background music. Chhau dance has three subgenres –– Mayurbhanj Chhau, Saraikela Chhau and Purulia Chhau. Chhau is a very tough dance form and it has received national and international acclaim and is known for its traditional beauty and message to the society.

Hunta :

It is a dance form of the Santhals. It is a dance that is performed by men. This dance form shows how hunting is carried by this tribe. The basic props involved in his dance are arrows, bows and other tools used for hunting.



It is a dance form of the Mundari tribe and is performed at the time of marriages. Its motive is celebration.

Barao :

It is a dance form performed by the Oraon tribe. This dance is performed in the month of May. It is performed for a good rain.


It is also a typical dance of the Chotanagpur region. It is performed by the women from the groom’s side. Bheja Dance Bheja, one of the popular dance forms of Jharkhand, is performed by a group of boys and girls at a particular place. They are arranged in such a way that during performance, they form a chain by clumping hands of one another in alternate successions. Melodious traditional songs and music are the major accompaniments of this dance.


The Sarhul dance forms express the enthusiasm and festive feelings amongst the people and the melodious Sarhul songs narrate the stories related to the culture, beliefs and traditions of the tribe. The tribal music is played upon traditional musical instrument, by the tribal people themselves. The tribal dance forms are performed by the native tribes called Kunjbans. Be it any festival or event, the Kunjabhans perform across Jharkhand on all important events including change of season, advent of New Year, all religious ceremonies, birth and marriage ceremonies etc. The tribal dance forms and tribal songs of Jharkhand have gained popularity across the world.

sarhul image

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