Folk Dance of Gujarat

India, is a land of rich culture, heritage, and variety. The country is legendary for its vast range of folk and classical dance forms. With numerous different folk dance styles, you’ll find that each state has a specialty in its own dance forms. Among all the varied forms, the folk dance of Gujarat has different vibes.

The state of Gujarat is understood as the land of fairs and festivals, which is incomplete without its folk and traditional dance form. These dance sorts of Gujarat have so much influence on everyone that they are famous worldwide. To acknowledge this, we’ll discuss the Top 5 famous Gujarat dances.

Traditional Folk Dances of Gujarat:

When it involves Gujarati folk dance, it plays an important role both culturally and traditionally. The dance form features a lot of importance, which is why they’re played on various events and occasions such as festivals, events, childbirth, weddings etc. Below are the lists of the favored dances of Gujarat.

1. Garba – Folk Dance of Gujarat

garba - folk dance of gujarat
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Garba, the name itself, rings the bells in our ears. It’s the famous dance of Gujarat. The word originated from the Sanskrit term “Garbha ” which suggests womb and earthen lamp. The entire dance form is dedicated to the Hindu god “Maa Amba. “The Garba dance form performed during the famous Hindu festival Navaratri.

The dance is performed in a concentric circle where the circle’s center has a lit lamp with the idol of Maa Amba. The Garba dance of Gujarat showcases the respect towards the goddesses and the feminine form of divinity. The dance is performed during a circle revolving in direction, representing your birth, life and death which may be a repetitive circle, but one constant thing in life is Goddesses Amba. 

The gorgeous colorful dresses are one of the most attractive parts of the traditional dance of Gujarat. The lads and women wear colorful Gujarati print dresses, which makes them the middle of attraction. 

The favored dresses to wear during Garba are handcrafted lehenga choli, Kedia, Churidar and Gujarati Kutchi style dupattas. These dresses come with motifs and embellishment. Further, bandhani Tie & Dye and Ajrakh print dresses gives it an attractive finish.

2. Dandiya – Folk Dance of Gujarat

Dandiya - folk dance of gujarat
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Dandiya is the other most iconic and popular folk dance of Gujarat. It’s a social-religious dance form that is also popular with the name dandiya Raas. The word Raas originated from the Sanskrit words RASA, which said to feel and emotions.

The dandiya dance of Gujarat represents a mock fight between the goddesses Durga and therefore the demon Mahishasura. The dandiya dance involves a group of wooden sticks which resembles the swords of Maa Durga.

Both men and ladies perform this dance on rhythmic Gujarati Folk Music with beautiful Kutch dresses of Gujarat. Most of the time, you’ll find that the Garbha and Dandiya are usually performed on a single ground.

3. Bhavai – Folk Dance of Gujarat

Bhavai Dance: folk dance of gujarat
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Bhavai is the popular theatre form of folk dance in Gujarat. The famous dance form springs from the Sanskrit word Bhava which means emotion and feeling. The term bhavai is employed interchangeably with both dance and drama on the stage.

Mostly the precise communities of Gujarat practice this dance form, like Bhojakas and Tragalas. The bhavai dance of Gujarat may be a complete event performed the whole night without any equipment. 

The aim of the popular dance cum drama is to showcase people’s contemporary life. The bhavai dance is additionally popular in the various parts of Rajasthan, and ladies and men both take part in this dance form. 

4. Padhar – Folk Dance of Gujarat

Padhar - Gujarati dance
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Padhar is the famous traditional folk dance of Gujarat. The dance is performed by the Padhar people, who belong to the community of fishermen. The Padhar people are true Hindu devotees who are known for the worship of the goddesses Durga.

The dance shows the representation of the lives of those fishermen. You’ll find these fishermen holding sticks in their hands and performing different kinds of moves of boat rowing on the songs of water.

The Padhar dance showcases the entire lifestyle of these people. What are the issues they face? The use of different moves is like the rise and fall of the river ways they face during their life. 

5. Tippani – Folk Dance of Gujarat

Tippani - dance of gujarat
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Tippani is another popular folk dance of Gujarat which comes from the Chorwad and Veraval, located within the Saurashtra part of Gujarat. The ladies mainly practice the dance form. The dance form involves the wooden sticks, which hit rhythmically on the ground to make a sound. The dancers, with the assistance of the thali, produce the music. It’s one of the most vigorous folk-dance forms from Gujarat.

Folk Musical Instruments of Gujarat

Kachchh district features a rich culture of folk music and dance. People here are very keen on music and dance. Kachchhi ethnic music existed since the ancient period here. It started from the traditional people who used to invent new sounds for showing their sentiments and feelings.

Gradually, this music further developed as Kachchhi ethnic music. There is a number of never seen instruments employed by Kachchhi people to produce music like tabla, nagara, murli, janjhra, manjira, khanjari, ghaghar, flute, duff, dholak, damaru, daklu, nagfani, bhorrindo.

These musical instruments are linked with a variety of aspects of Kachchhi people and their religion. The music which influenced by Sufi & Folk songs, Instruments like- Bhorrindo, Manjira, Morchay, Jodia Pava and Rava.

1. Jodiya Pava

JODIYA PAVA – instrument of gujarat
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Jodia Pawa features a significant role in the rich cultural heritage of Kachchh. As we hear Jodia Pawa, it’s natural to understand that Jodia Pawa is a kind of a Bansuri – a flute. But after all it is different from Bansuri.

Jodia Pawa may be a pair of two flutes or double flutes, or double flutes of the same size and length remain about 20 to 22 inches generally played together keeping both the flute in the mouth, one named Nar- the male and the other called Madi or Mali – the female. Nar has eight equi-distant holes for maintaining a drone or Sur.

The Madi weaves the melody on this base over twelve holes on top on which fingers move. Of the twelve holes of the Madi, only the upper six were used functionally to control music while the lower six were left open and free.

2. Manjira

gujarati instrument
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Manjira is the smallest in the metal clappers’ series. It’s a pair of small and deep metallic cymbals, made from bronze or brass metal.

3. Bhorrindo

BORRINDO Wind Instrument of India
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Bhorrindo may be a very antique folk music instrument of Kachchh. It’s a very ancient folk instrument. It’s simple vacant dirt all or like an egg twisted with holes arranged in an isosceles triangular form, apparently one larger than another and formed like a hollow clay ball with three to four holes of different sizes. 

It’s made of soft alluvial clay available in plenty everywhere in the central Indus Valley Civilization. It’s popular among the young who play on it while grazing cattle.

4. Surando

instrument of gujarat
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This is often a very ancient stringed folk musical instrument of Kachchh. This instrument is played with the assistance of the bow or ‘Gaz’. ‘Surando’ is believed to possess played as ‘Sarinda’ in Northern parts of India as well as in Sindh of Pakistan.

5. Morchang

gujarati instrument
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This is often a simple, yet sophisticated instrument made of iron or brass. Morchang or Chang may be a simple but sophisticated sounding device made of Iron or Brass. It’s also found in other parts of India, also as Austria, Italy, Australia, and Indonesia. 

Made up of Iron, they’re not as sweet as Morchangs of Kachchh and are also different in size and shape. This Instrument is especially played by Shepherd Community for a long time while grazing the cattle. It’s not easy to Play. It Hurts the tongue, lips, and lungs.

6. Dak/Dakul

Dhak : Folk Drum of Gujarat
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Dak or Dakul belongs to the Damru Family. The form of the Dak or Dakul is like the shape of the Damru, but bigger in size sometimes. It’s played to create a horrifying atmosphere. The body of the Dacca or Dakar is formed of an hourglass frame with vellum drumheads.

The heads are usually of calfskin, tied to hoops on each side and braced and tightened with ropes. It’s struck only one side either by hand or by a stick. The cords are pressed and released in quick succession to offer varying degrees of tension to the skinheads’ effecting changes in tonal sound.

The Dak or Dakul is especially used by the mendicants and jugglers of the Bhuva community. These Bhuvas play the Dak or Dakul at the time of elimination of the weather like ghosts etc. Dak additionally played while observing Tantrik-cult.

7. Dholak

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Dholak is one of the most important folk instruments of the membranophone class. It’s used for accompaniment for singing and dancing. Intrinsically accepted as a percussion instrument for varied kinds of music, from modern film music to simple folk songs and dan.

The shell or most of the body of Dholak hollowed out of a solid block of wood, over the 2 usually equal size open ends of the hollowed cylinder; parchment stretched by tightening cords of braces, through leather hoops on each side. To realize the tonal variation between the two heads, generally, a past of flour and metal filing is fixed on the parchment of the left side to permanently lower the tension of the left side head.

Moreover, small circular metal rings, loops or wooden pieces have skilled the braces which can be pulled on either side, to extend or decrease the tension of the heads. The proper head is kept in high pitch and the left head is kept in low pitch. It’s struck on both sides by the hands, fingers, knuckles, and a part of the palm. A metal ring sometime tapped on the shell of the instrument.