is a dance performed by the menfolk of the Wattal tribe
of Kashmir on specific occasions. The performers wear
long colourful robes, tall conical caps which are studded
with beads and shells. The party moves in a procession
carrying a banner in a very ceremonial fashion. It is
dug into the ground and the men begin to dance, forming
a circle. The musical accompaniment comprises a drum
and the vocal singing of the participants. Dumhal is
performed on set occasions and at set locations.
Hikat, danced by women, is a modification of a game
played by children. Forming pairs, the participants
extend their arms to the front gripping each other's
wrists and with the body inclined back, go round and
round at the same spot.
With wide range and variety of the ethnic groups, Himachal
Pradesh is blessed with natural beauty and artistic
history. People living in this natural beauty, adorn
themselves for the dance at all times of the year, in
all regions, and continue to express themselves through
music and dance.
In the Kulu valley, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated
with great pomp and show. Images of Raghunathji are
brought from the different shrines to a central place,
and then there is singing and dancing. Dances of the
region are collectively known as Natio, though each
may be meant for a different purpose. No festive occasion,
including wedding and similar social ceremonies, is
complete without dancing.
All regions of Himachal Pradesh have their own dances.
Mostly men and women dance together, close to each other
in the formation.