Folk Dances of Arunachal Pradesh

Folk Dances of Arunachal Pradesh
Yak Dance/Credit: Tawang Festival
India is a diverse country and each state of India has a rich culture of art, music, and dance. Thus, the land of rising sun, Arunachal Pradesh is not different from any other state in India. Arunachal Pradesh has following dance forms which are not only unique in their own way but beautiful.

Aji Lamu
Aji Lamu is one of the most exciting folk dance forms of Arunachal Pradesh. It is performed by members of Monpa Tribes. The performance is characterized by various animal marks, props and background sceneries to suit the story.

Ponung is the folk dance of Adi tribe. It is performed to seek blessings from God for a good harvest season. It is women-centric dance, mostly performed by young women of the tribe. Though, the dance is led by a Miri, a man adept in local mythological songs and stories.

Taapu is the war dance of the Adis. It is based on the struggles of Tani (the primal ancestor of Tani Tribes:  Mising, Nyishi, Adi, Apatani, Galo, and Tagin).

Eme-Relo is the traditional folk dance of Adi Galo tribe. It mimics the nature and weaved around the story of rivers and their inhabitants.

Yakjong is a folk dance performed by the children of Adi tribe. It is usually performed during the Aaran festival, the New Year festival of the Adis. The children perform dance and collect rice, meat, and other food items for the feast. It is said, whoever welcomes Yakjong group, gets the bumper crop.

Beesu-Naayi is a unique dance where performer mimics a monkey. The dance is based on the mythological story of four brothers: Niinur Bote (a blacksmith), Robo (an evil spirit), Tani (man) and Beesung (monkey), in which Beesung secretly kills Niinur Bote on the instigation from Robo.

Kacheng Aluwang
Kacheng Aluwang is a traditional dance of Khampatis people. It is usually performed during festival and centers around their myths and traditional stories.

Kaa Kong Tu Kai
This dance is performed by Khampatis people of the Lohit region. It depicts the cock fight.

Nechi Dau
Nechi Dau is performed by the Aka people of West Kameng region. The dance is usually performed during the various festival to thank God for his/her graciousness.

Daminda is the traditional dance of Apatanis. It is performed during Dree festival before rice planting season.

Si-Ome is performed by Tagin people of Upper Subabsiri region. It is usually performed by women of the tribe in order to please Goddess and seek her blessing for a great harvesting season.

It is dance form of Nish people of Lower Sunansiri region. It is done by women to please their husbands.

Lion and Peacock Dance
Lion and Peacock Dance is performed by Monap people. Here, the dance symbolizes that prosperity comes when there are complete harmony and cooperation between all living beings on the earth.

Yak Dance
Yak Dance is one of the popular folk dances of Arunachal Pradesh. It is usually performed by the Monpa and Sherdupen people. Here, the Yak is looked upon as the symbol of wealth and prosperity.

Igu Dance
Igu Dance is a ceremonial dance performed by Idu Mishmi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh to keep evil spirits at a far distance. Idu Mishmis are strong believers of evil spirits and forces of nature.

Bardo Chham
Bardo Chham is a folk dance of Sherdukpens, a small community of West Kameng region, Arunachal Pradesh. The dance is based on the stories of Good versus Evil. The performers usually wear colorful masks and dance is accompanied by the varying music.

TribeName of the Dance/s
AdiPonung, Taapu, Yakjong
Adi-GaloAmi Henam, Tanu, Popir, Eme-relo, Boi-take
AkaNiechu dou, Dogoh dou
ApataniPaktu-Itu, Demindu
Hill MiriBoyen or Kuba Tondore, Pojuh, Nitin, Ponung
KhamtiKakong Tokai, Kachang Aluwang, Ka-Fifai dance drama, Ka-Mukcho
KhambaTroh, Guru Chanji Pantomime, Padi or Sethoh Pantomime
MijiDumai, Jei
MishmiIdu, Ah-ih, Mesala, Digaru-Beeiya, Nuiya
MembaBroh dance, Bardo pantomime
MonpaYak, Lion & Peacock, Deer pantomime, Aji Lamu, Broh and other monastic dances
NishingRikhampada, Buiya, Juju-Jaja
NocteLaku Bawang, Mang Buang, Ramvan boung
SingphoManglup dance
SherdukpenJam or Bardo, Yak pantomime, Jik Charm or Seeh pantomime, Brohpu
TaginSi-Ome, Nibutamu dance
ThangsaMoh festival dance, Sapoloso dance
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