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Arunachal Pradesh

Music And Dance

All the tribes have a wide range of dances. By and large, these are community dances and the people have no tradition of individual dances. Certain dances have a religious significance, such as in the worship of the gods or at the time of festivals. Others are a thanksgiving for handsome crops and yet others are performed for entertainment. Pantomime dances are very popular among the Monpa, Khamba, Mamba, and Sherdukpen tribes. The dancers wear a mask, which has a human, animal, or bird face and, through their movements and gestures, depict a mythical story. Thus, the Deer Pantomime tells the story of a deer chased, caught, and later released. It also provides the moral lesson of compassion towards animals as preached by Buddha. In the case of the Nocti and Wanchoo dances, the dancers use spears and daos (steel blades) to enact threatening assault postures in headhunting. These dancers stamp the ground powerfully as they move forwards and sideways making deep echoing noises providing a beat.

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