Kalbelia Folk Dance in Rajasthan

Kalbeliya is a nomadic community who sometimes introduces themselves as Naath, Jogi, Sapere and Sadhu. Their family business is to catch snakes. This comes in handy as they showcase a number of tricks using these snakes while giving spectacular shows in nearby villages and qasbas and at their Jajmaan’s place and thus earn livelihood for themselves. As the time changed they have made permanent lodgings outside the cities.

Pungi is a special instrument of Kalbeliya community. They catch snakes with the help of pungi. They enchant the snake by playing this instrument and then catch it. They believe that the snake can never bite them and they also make ‘Surma’ using the snake’s poison . Due to the use of Surma they believe that they will never lose their eye sight.

The women of this community are expert in singing and dancing. In olden times the women use to sing and dance only on special occasions such as weddings, festivals etc. in their very own distinct style. As times changed these women started performing stage shows around the whole world and with it changed their dancing style as well as their attires. Their swaying dresses, made up of colourful beads give a distinct identity to the women of Kalbeliya community. What makes this attractive dress more interesting is that it is made by the Kalbeliya women themselves. A very interesting fact about them is that they never teach the folk arts to their children. They gain expertise in singing and dancing by watching the elders doing it at home.

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