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Like all other Indian folk dance forms, folk dance forms of west India are also a product of various diversities.


Folk Dances Of West India

Dandiya (Rajasthan)
Dandiya is a popular folk dance of Rajasthan. Dressed in colorful costumes the performers play skillfully with big sticks in their hands. Dandiya dance is accompanied by the musical instrument called the 'Meddale' played by the drummer in the centre.

The Bhil tribal of Rajasthan perform a variety of dances. All these folk dances correspond to the agricultural cycle. The Ghumer dance, Raika and Jhoria are some examples of this type of dance. The Gher dance is a favorite and popular dance of the Mina tribe who are similar to the Bhils while Valar is typical dance of the Garasias of Rajasthan.

Tera Tali (Rajasthan)
Tera Tali is another famous folk dance of Rajasthan. It is performed by two or three women of the 'Kamar' tribe. The women folk sit on the ground while performing the Tera Tali which is an elaborate ritual with many other rituals in it. An interesting part of the Tera Tali dance is tying of metal cymbals (Manjiras) to different parts of the body, mostly on the legs. The Tera Tali dancers hold cymbals in their hands and strike them in a rhythmic manner. On many occasions the women clasp a sword in between their teeth and balance a decorative pot on their head.

Dindi And Kala
Dindi and Kala are devotional dances of Maharashtra. In these dances the playful attitude of Lord Krishna is presented. Dindi is a small drum. The musicians, comprising 'Mridangam' player and a vocalist, stand in the center and give the dancers the necessary musical background. Men and women folk perform the dance on the rhythmic music. This dance is usually performed on the Ekadashi day in the Hindu month of Kartik.

Garba
Garba is the leading dance of women in Gujarat. The Garba dance is associated with the fertility cult. The Garba dance is performed throughout nine nights of Navaratri, an autumn festival. Women folk come out into the open and with perforated earthen pots holding lighted lambs poised on the head sing, clap and dance a simple, circular dance, in honor of the Goddess Amba. When men also dance by singing and clapping the dance is known as Garbi.

Tippani is a popular folk dance of Saurashtra. Tippani is performed by women laborers in parts of Saurashtra.

The Dhangari Gaja Dance is performed by Dhangars of Maharashtra to please their God for blessings. The Dhangari Gaja dance is performed in the traditional Marathi dresses - Dhoti, Angarakha and Pheta, accompanied by colorful handkerchiefs. Dancers move around a group of drum players.

Koli (Maharashtra)
The Koli dance derives its name from the Koli tribe of Maharashtra. The dances of Kolis incorporate all elements of their surroundings. The Koli dance is performed by both men and women - divided into two groups. The main story of the dance is enacted by the smaller group of men and women. In this dance the Kolin or fisherwoman makes advances to the Kolis or fishermen.