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This short essay contains information on folk dances of north east India, north east India folk dances and folk dance forms of north east India.


Folk Dances Of North East India

Bihu (Assam)
Bihu is a popular folk dance of Assam is called Bihu. The Bihu dance is an integral part of the Bihu festival of Assam. The Bihu festival is celebrated in mid-April, during the harvesting time and lasts for about a month. Young men and girls perform the Bihu dance together to the accompaniment of drums and pipes. Love forms the subject matter of the songs that are sung during the performance. The dances are performed in circles or parallel rows.

The Zemis, Zeliangs and several other tribes of Assam have a number of folk dances. Most of these folk dances are performed during the harvest period. Similarly, the Naga tribals too have their harvest dances and celebrations. "Khamba Lim" is one such folk dance and is performed by two groups of men and women who stand in two rows. Another popular Naga folk dance is "Akhu".

Hajgiri (Tripura)
Hajgiri is a famous folk dance of Tripura. Hajgiri dance is performed by young girls who display a series of balancing skills and instruments of their kind. In Tripura dances are a part of people's efforts and ceremony to appease the goddess Lakshmi. It is to ensure good harvest. Tribal people of Tripura and other adjoining states make use of the compounds of their own houses as dancing grounds during main festivals.

Nongkrem (Meghalaya)
'Nongkrem' is an important folkdance of Meghalaya. The Khasis tribe of Meghalaya also celebrates the ripening of paddy for threshing, by dances and songs.

Dhol-Cholom (Manipur)
One of the instruments that dominate Manipuri dances is the drum. Dhol Cholom, a drum dance is one of the dances performed during Holi in Manipur. The Thang-ta dance of Manipur was an evolved from the martial arts drills promoted by the kings of Manipur. The dance is exciting and is performed by young men holding swords and shields.

In Arunachal Pradesh, many dance and songs are performed, based on the stories of Buddha. The performers of these folk dances wear masks of demons or animals, inspired from Buddha stories. Most of these folk dances are performed in Buddhist monasteries during festivals.