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Koli Dance | Indian Traditional Dance

Koli dance is a traditional dance form of the Koli tribe. Many forms of Koli dance are found in different parts of Maharashtra. A dance form known as ‘Kolyacha Nach’ has become popular among the Sonkoli people on the shores of the Konkan, Maharashtra in India.

Koli Dance

History of Koli dance

In the Koli dance form, two groups of dancers stand face to face in two rows. Nakhwa and Kolin are in the middle of the queue. Kolin puts his left hand on his waist and takes a handkerchief in his right hand and moves it according to the dance. She tilts her body to the left and to the right and moves accordingly.

Nakhava takes a bottle of liquor in one hand and a glass in the other and tries to maintain harmony with Kolini’s movements. Two rows of dancers perform small boat replicas. The bodies swing back and forth, creating the impression of a boat swaying on the waves. As it is a group dance, their emphasis is on the integration of movements.

This dance is accompanied by songs of boatmen as well as instruments like Zanj, Dholaki etc. Sonkoli, who lives near Mumbai, however, dismisses this dance form as an extravagant trend of drinking.

‘Nakata’ is a humorous dance form. It has three characters, Koli, Kolin and Nakata. He performs songs called dances. Nakatya’s dress is special and he wears a mask. He creates humor by exaggerating every movement.

Ekvira and Khandoba were the deities of the Koli people. On the occasion of their pilgrimage as well as on the days of Gauri Ganapati, Narli Pournima, Holi Pournima, Somvati Amavasya and on the occasion of marriage, it is the custom of the Koli people to dance according to the lyric composition based on the occasional rituals.

According to the nature of different festivals, men and women sometimes dance together, sometimes differently. The rhythmic melody of a particular song of a traditional festival is played on the clarinet and the men and women dance to that melody. The semantics of the song are indicated by the signs of folklore.

Women wear traditional dress like Sari, Choli, Thushi, Bormaal, Waali, Pearl earrings, Gathe while men wear traditional diapers like nappy, elbow, hat and beggar in ear.

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