Ghumura is traditionally considered to be a folk dance having originated in the Kalahandi district of Odisha. The dress code of this dance resembles the tribal lore; however, its various mudras and dance forms have close significance with those of the other classical dances of India.
Ghumura is considered to be one of those folk dances of Odisha that is much ahead of other folk-dance forms in terms of popularity. It is much scholarly enriched, researched and has ties with dances from at least a thousand years ago.
Mythology suggests a number of historical evidence regarding the birth of Ghumura. For instance, Nandini Bhasin and Gaganeswar described that the dance form was originally initiated by Chandra Dhwoja but was later taken up by the demon, Karttabirya Asura.
The archaeological excavations lead to proofs that Ghumura, Damru and other instruments had existed in 8000 BCE. Cave paintings from ancient period of Gudahandi of Kalahandi and Yogi Matha of Nuapada districts indicate the aforementioned existence.
The uniqueness and impact of the dance
The folk-dance form is renowned for combining grace and expressive elegance in its movement and rhythm. Ghumura was greatly revered among the royal families of the state and dealt with themes like patronizing mythology, the glory of the past and religious hymns. Nuakhai and Dussera are the two apt festivals in Odisha when Ghumura could be witnessed in all its glory. The most striking feature of this dance form is its costume that is considered now as excellent bedrock samples for the fashion industry.
Unlike many other Indian folk dances, Ghumura only constitutes male dancers. The main focus of Ghumura is the costume which represents that of the tribal folklore. Indravati is believed to the place where Ghumura was first performed and later, it started spreading out. Now it has various forms including Badi-Ghumura, Ghumura-Ladhei, and others.
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