Kharia Dance

The cultural heritage of North Odisha forms a distinctive identity among the other parts. The dances
of scheduled tribes, scheduled castes even same traditional dances are the source of great
entertainment and amusement. The nature and characteristic features, forms and styles,
presentations and modulations of the tribal and traditional folk dances reveal some extra features
related to the life style and livelihood of the people, concerned to it. Most of the tribal and
traditional folk dances we find in these areas are danced together both by the man and woman
except in a few – specifically allowed or recognized for either of the two.

Kharia or Khadia Dance is a typical tribal dance of North Odisha found in the district of
Mayurbhanj. It is a great thing that, most of the primitive, tribal and traditional dances of North
Odisha are found exclusively in the district of Mayurbhanj. The same format of dance seen in other
local and peripheral areas next to the district of Mayurbhanj are just an effect or influence of the
original Kharia tribal dance of Mayurbhanj. The native Kharia dance of Mayurbhanj has a separate

Kharia dance is being danced by the Kharia youths of both the sexes male and female. It is
completely a native, indigenous tribal dance of the Kharia or Khadia tribe. Mostly, the dance is
being danced by the Kharia youths, but, people and dancers from all age groups can perform this
dance, even the old men and women also take part in the dance. Kharia dance is freed from the
restrictions of age boundness. The dance has an intrinsic purpose of serving the social relationship,
particularly in the field of matrimonial issues. The youths dancing together of the same Kharia tribe,
find a chance for likenss and opting for their life partners. It provides a beautiful platform for
matching, finding, negotiating and understanding each others sentiment both in the case of the guy
or the maiden. They have every chance of finding a bond of love, romantic or social relationship
during the learning or displaying of the dance.

The dancing pattern of Kharia tribal dance is very easy, simple and appealing. We find here a simple
twisting, bending, stretching or contortions of body mostly, the hands, waists and legs in a
recognized, accepted form rhythmically designed as per the rhythms and ammensement. The
dangling or swaying of the body are the attractive features of Kharia dance being danced in a style
of alternate forward and backward movements with soft and heavy steps, sometimes marching
forward, backward, in whirling and wheeling columns.

The most important and commonest features of Kharia dance is that, they dance in their everyday
used daily dress what is civil, may be may not be formal. The dance does not need an exaggerated
outlook and heavily expenditure mode like some other dances founding Odisha andIndia. Kharia
dance has a very simple and normal presentations among the Kharia youths aiming at entertainment
and leisure pass time to make them free from the burdenised structure of agro based society. During
the discourse of fraternity, match making are some of the common outputs of the Kharia dance. As
it is a dance mostly performed by the youth, we have every chance of high frequency of
entertainment with a sense of love,romance and youthfulness.

Kharia dance is found broadly in five divisions or classes namely (i) Hariaro (Liner), (ii) Kinbhar
(Round), (iii) Halka (waist), (iv) Kudhing (jumping), (v) Jadura (duet). These are the various
dancing posture, actions and modulations of Kharia dance. Hariaro is the linear display, Kinbharis
the circular display, Halka is the swaying of waist, Kudhing is the jumping style and Jadura is the
dance found in duet or group form. The individual presentation and set up of the dance has an
attractive eye-catchingness.

Kharia dance is performed with the musical instruments and songs. The musical instruments used to
perform the Kharia dance are – Tamak or Dhumsa, Drum or Madal, Singa and Flute etc. Some
additional set of instruments may be used to perform the dance to make the dance, something more
interesting and appealing are:- Jhumka, gini or cymbal. It is found in a mixed Kharia dance
presentation, not in the original, native, indegenious one. All the musical instruments have their
specification in making and creating music, particularly in carrying the dance.

The song used in Kharia dance are the songs with a thematic relation with mother Gods, Goddess,
Deities or the various elements of Nature. Looking at the need of the dance, after the Bandana or
Beginning or Prayer, they come directly to their needful thematic vision. One of the examples of the
Kharia song is
Dham Dhitim Dhitim Tam Dham Dhitam Tam (2)
Dhaiki Dhitim Dhaiki Dhitim Dhaiki Dhitim Tam Tam
Dham Dhitim Dhitim Tam Dham Dhitam Tam (2)

REFERENCES:Various Sources

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