|The main folk dances of Tripura are – Hozagiri dance of Reang community, Garia, Jhum, Maimita, Masak Sumani and Lebang boomani dances of Tripuri community, Bijhu dance of Chakma community, Cheraw and Welcome dances of Lusai community Hai-Hak dance of Malsum community, Wangala dance of Garo Community, Sangraiaka, Chimithang, Padisha and Abhangma dances of Mog community, Garia dances of Kalai and Jamatia communities, Gajan, Dhamail Sari and Rabindra dances of Bengali community and Basanta Rash and Pung chalam dances of Manipuri community. Each community has its own traditional musical instruments. To name a few are – ‘Khamb ( Drum)', Bamboo flute, 'Lebang,', 'Sarinda', 'Do- Tara', and 'Khengrong', etc.|
The life and culture of Tripuris revolve around Jhum (shifting) cultivation. When the sowing of seeds at a plot of land selected for Jhum is over by middle of April, they pray to the God 'Garia' for a happy harvest. The celebrations attached to the Garia Puja continue for seven days when they seek to entertain their beloved deity with song and dance.
|Lebang Boomani Dance
After the Garia festival is over, the Tripuris have a time to rest awaiting the monsoon. During this period, folks of charming colorful insects called 'Lebang' use to visit hill slopes in search of seeds sewn on it. The annual visit of the insects renders the tribal youths to indulge in merry-making. While the men-folk make a peculiar rhythmic sound with the help of two bamboo chips in their hand, the women folk run tottering the hill slopes to catch hold of these insects called 'Lebang'. The rhythm of the sound made by the bamboo chips attracts the insects from their hiding places and the women in-groups catch them. With the change of time Jhuming on hill slopes are gradually diminishing. But the cultural life that developed centering round the Jhum delved deep into the society. It still exists in the state's hills and dales as a reminiscence of the life, which the tribal of today cherish in memory, and preserve as treasure. In both the dances Tripuris use the musical instruments like Khamb made of Bamboo, Flute, Sarinda, Lebang made of bamboo and bamboo cymbal. Tripuri women generally put on indigenous ornaments like chain made of silver with coin, Bangle made of silver, ear and nose rings made of bronze. They prefer flower as ornaments.
While the theme of the dance remains almost to be the same as of other tribes, the dance form of the Reang community is quite different from others. The movement of hands or even the upper part of the body is somewhat restricted, whereas the movement beginning from their waist down to their feet creates a wonderful wave. Standing on an earthen pitcher with a bottle on the head and a lighted lamp on it, when the Reang belle dance twisting rhythmically the lower part of the body, the dance bewilders the onlookers. The Reangs also use the musical Instruments like Khamb, Flute made of bamboo and bamboo cymbal. The Reang women prefer to put on black Pachra and Rea. Reang women put on coins ring, which generally covers their entire upper region. They also put on rings made of coin in their ears. They are fond of fragrant flowers as ornaments to metal things.
This popular form of dance is characteristic of the Chakma community. Bijhu means 'Chaitra-Sankranti'. 'Chaitra-Sankranti' denotes end of Bengali calendar year. It is during this period when the Chakmas sing and dance to bid good-bye to the year just being ended and welcome the New Year. The dance is beautifully orchestrated with the rhythm playing of what is known as 'Kheng-garang', 'Dhukuk' and flute. Chakma women wear flowers on hair and metal ornaments.
Like other tribal community of this State the social and economic life of the Halam community also revolve around Jhum cultivation. At the end of the harvesting season the Malsum traditionally adore Goddess Laxmi. They enjoy this festive occasion for their famous Hai-Hak dance. It is also a community dance with exquisite beauty. Rhythms of the dance reflect the tradition inherited from distant past.
After the happy harvest 'Wangala' (1-st rice eating ceremony) is performed in every houses. The Sangnakma, head of the communities visits every house and cuts a pumpkin as a part of worship. This pumpkin is sacrificed on this occasion. After that the women dance to the beat of 'Dama' and 'Aaduri' made of buffalo horn. The dance projects the rehearsal for war.
The Lusai girls are well dressed. They generally wear their colorful cloth. They performed welcome dance whenever any visitor pay visits to their house. This is very colorful dance where young girls of the entire community take part. Their dress is so colorful that the ornaments are not very much required except fragrant flowers.
The Darlong reposes faith in after life. They believe that man is destined to go to Haven after death. Incidentally, they think that if a pregnant woman dies, she feels it very difficult, with all her physical strains, to track the long journey to Heaven. Hence at the last stage of her pregnancy - in fact just at the time or immediately prior to delivery all her relatives perform this 'Cheraw' dance in-group throughout day and night so as to instill confidence in the mind of that woman. They are firm in their belief that even if the woman dies at this juncture. It will be possible for her to go Heaven with the courage and confidence together with joy gained through the sound of bamboo as the rhythm of the dance produced till her death.
Sangrai dance is performed by the Mog community people on the occasion of Sangrai festival falling in the month of Chaitra of Bengali calendar year. Young boys and girls in particular, celebrate the day through cultural programmes to invite the New Year.