Folk Dance of Goa

Folk dance and music are the lifelines of the Goan People and it is an integral part of Goa culture. Be it any occasion or festivity, merrymaking in Goa is incomplete without the soul soothing music and Folk dance.

If you haven’t danced to the blissful rhythm of cultural music and haven’t listened to the guts touching delightful music then what are you even doing in Goa? Only scenic beaches, churches, and Goan Food won’t elevate your holidays in Goa to an amazing level, you would like to explore more, feel more, and sync your vibe with the Goan Vibe. If you want to experience the soul of the queen of Beaches -Goa, then you want to enjoy the best Folk dances and Music in Goa.

Goa features a rich cultural heritage which is a beautiful amalgamation of eastern and western cultures. Folk dance and Music of Goa make the cultural tourism of Goa the foremost interesting one. Portuguese and Israeli’s who ruled Goa influenced the folks dance and music of Goa. Goan people are very passionate people in whatever they are doing.

Their passion for dance and music is such some of the festivals celebrated in Goa solely dedicated to dance and music, to market the culture tourism worldwide.

Famous Folk Dance of Goa:

1. Dhalo – Folk Dance of Goa

Folk Dance of Goa
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Dhalo is one of the prominent dances of Goa; performed by the womenfolk. it’s held mainly during the month of “Pausha”- The Hindu month corresponding to December and January. the ladies gather at night after dinner to perform the dance. They form two rows facing one another. The rows formed with a gaggle of 12 dancers each. 

Maybe a dance form full of zest and charm. The dancers enfold one another with their hands at the back and create a disciplined line. Singers accompany the dancers, Chan ting songs in Marathi or Konkani with melodious rhythmic beats.

2. Dekhni – Folk Dance of Goa

Folk Dance of Goa
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Dekhni is again a womenfolk dance like Dhalo. But here the concept is different. The dance is performed to portray the lifetime of a devadasi. In Hindu mythology, there was a belief in marrying a woman to God. She successively continues serving the Lord her whole life. the women were known as a devadasi, serving the deity within the temple.

3. Fugdi – Folk Dance of Goa

dance of goa
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Fugdi is another renowned folk dance of Goa, performed by the womenfolk. The dance was administered in groups, forming a circle. There are not any singers or musicians accompanying the dancers. They themselves sing and dance in energetic movements. The dance is performed in several social gatherings and religious ceremonies in Goa. it’s symbolic in portraying the power and energy concealed within human beings.

4. Lamp Dance – Folk Dance of Goa

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Lamp dance displays the skill and talent of the artists performing it. They carry brass lamps balanced on their heads and move in slow movements. it’s spectacular to watch the tenacity and patience of the dancers as they control themselves in keeping the lamps intact and balanced.

The lamps are quite heavy and it’s truly amazing to watch the dedication of the performers. It’s a treat to the eye observing them.

5. Dashavatara – Folk Dance of Goa

famous goan dance
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The word “Dashavatara” in Hindu mythology implies the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God. The dance, as the name implies, depicts the ten manifestations of Lord Vishnu.

6. Shigmo – Folk Dance of Goa

traditional dance of goa
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Shigmo is additionally one of the significant folk dances of Goa. The objective of performing the dance is to be celebrating the new crops during the spring season. the gorgeous soothing climate enhances the celebration.

7. Kunbi – Folk Dance of Goa

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Kunbis are the tribal population, residing in Goa for years. They perform the dance majorly during social gatherings or during any religious festivals and occasions. Kunbi was performed by the womenfolk.

Elegance and beauty defined the dance form. it’s one of the best folk dances of Goa; a pleasure to watch the dancers performing in unison and in sync with each other.

8. Romat – Folk Dance of Goa

Dance of Goa
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Romat is street show, where the dancers and musicians move during a procession. The traditional musical instruments of drums and cymbals used. The dancers decked up in bright-colored attire with glitter and sparkles adorning the dress.

Huge banners, sunshades, and different other symbols carried by the gang through the procession. it’s one of the popular folk dances of Goa, where people flock to observe the fun in the streets.

9. Goff – Folk Dance of Goa

Goan Folk Dances: Goff
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Goff may be a skilled dance form of Goa. a singular act performed in the dance, which makes it special. The dancers employ several cords to form various artistic patterns, while they dance with the musical beats.

They dismantle the formation and again arrange them in sequence throughout the performance. The songs accompanying the dance are dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Krishna.

10. Mussal – Folk Dance of Goa

Folk Dance of Goa
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Mussals are weapons utilized in the war during ancient times in India. The Kshatriyas, known to be the valiant warriors, used the Mussals. The dance form is performed to commemorate victories during wars. 

it’s conducted at the full moon, mostly within the months of February or March. The songs accompanying the dance form are comprised of twenty-two couplets.

11. Ghode Modni – Folk Dance of Goa

Dance of Goa
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The name Ghode Modni implies the movements of the horse. The dancers wear a horse-shaped structure or model round the waist. They move around waving swords. The dresses of the performers are of various colors coupled with gorgeous ornaments and beautiful headgears. Drums and cymbals accompany the dance.

Ethnic music Instruments of Goa:

1. Ghumat

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Ghumat may be a folk musical instrument used especially in Goa, bordering Maharashtra (Konkan region), Karnataka (North and South Kanara Districts) and within the Konkani speaking community in Kerala. it’s the favorite musical instrument of Goans.

Though this instrument is extremely easy to make it is quite difficult to maintain a rhythm on it. A baked mud pot with two open mouths of various diameters 10-12 centimeters and 20 centimeters was purchased from the potter.

After applying the sap or gum of a tree to the molted hide of a mountain lizard it’s stretched across and tied onto the wider mouth, with a coir rope, and then dried within the ̣shade. A rope is tied to both mouths to form a sling to hold the ghumaṭ around the neck.

The sound is generated by beating the hide with the proper hand and placing the left hand on the smaller mouth to adjust the sound. As this is often not played individually Shameḷ, jodshameḷ or mhadale played together with it. 

it’s very popular in villages and played during puja (ritualistic worship), Ganesh Chaturthi, Shigmo, vrats, jatras (festival of the temple deity) and Jagran (worship at night). When played following the norms of serious music it is called ‘sumwarivadan, chandravaḷ, fag, khanpad, arti’ etc.

2. Mhadalem

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Even as a transverse cylindrical wooden pot is used to make a mrudang or pakhwaj so also a 60-65-centimeter-long earthen cylindrical pot used to create a mhadale. Before it’s baked the earthen pot is given a slit in the middle.

Both its ends are about 20 centimeters in diameter and covered with the hide of the mountain lizard. The hide is fixed using the sap or gum of a tree as during a ghumaṭ. When playing a ghumaṭ this instrument is employed as an accompaniment. 

it’s held transversely and secured around the neck with a sling and held in the armpit or on the thigh. it’s played by striking the right mouth with the fingers.

3. Shehnai

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The foremost well-known musical instrument as in other regions, in Goa the Sanai is named shanay by locals. Formerly Goa temples would appoint traditional artists to play the Sanai and therefore the chaughada in the temple.

Unfortunately, this practice has gradually started dwindling. No new artists are now inclined towards learning Sanai and pursing it as a profession. Once upon a time a day, at least thrice each day the Sanai (chaughada) would play in the major temples. Today thanks to a dearth of artists the temple administration must use recorded chaughada music.

A Sanai formed from shisham wood. it’s narrow at one of the ends. it’s about 30 to 32 centimeter long, hollow pipe. At the narrow end the diameter of the opening is about 1 centimeter. A two layered clapper made up of 2-centimeter-long blades of the Pala grass fixed over it. The broad opening is fixed with a nightshade shaped metal horn. 

the 2 layered clapper is to create notes, the long pipe is to offer the notes a melody and the horn is to be increasing the volume or the pitch. the center pipe has 8 to 9 openings out of which 7 which are in one line used to create notes and to increase the pitch.

4. Tasso

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This instrument from the sambal category is extremely popular. Formerly it had used as an instrument on the war front. One hears this during the festivities of Shigmo. However, it accompanies the drum (dhol) within the temples of Goa thrice a day.

A wooden, earthen, or copper-brass deep bowl called gangal roofed with hide of the goat. The hide stretched and held in situ with brass screws or sewed with threads. Thin cane sticks of about 30-centimeter length struck onto the leather to make sound.

Most of the days this instrument strung around the neck or tied to the waist. an outsized Tasha referred to as an Arab in Goa.

5. Nagado & Chowgudo

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Today the nagara played altogether the important temples of Goa while ghum is played during shigmo festival in Central and North Goa. During annual festivals (jatras) of temple deities and wedding festivities playing the chaughaḍa may be a sign of auspiciousness.