Dance forms of India
womenfolk of Tamil Nadu have three closely related dances,
which can be performed at any time but are seen at their
best during festivities. The simplest of these is the
Kummi, in which the dancers gather in a circle and clap
their hands as they dance. As an extension to this is
the Kolattam, where instead of clapping, the participants
hold small wooden rods in their hands and strike these
in rhythm as they dance.
As part of the Muslim observence of Moharram, men disguised
as tigers go about in the streets dancing what is known
as Puli Vesham, Tiger Disguise.
Kargam is the most common form of folk dance in Tamil
Nadu. Originally, it was dedicated to Mariamman, the
goddess of health and rain. The Kargam dance is essentially
part of a ritual and is performed by men balancing pots
filled with uncooked rice, surrounded by a tall conical
bamboo frame covered with flowers. The musical accompaniment
comprises a drum and a long pipe.