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Dances in any form take the dancers as well as viewers into another world. Dancers perform their dance forms wholeheartedly. This is a real dedication to their art. India is a country of mixed culture, people, tradition and even dances. Folk dance is an ancient form which is performed from the soul of the dancers. The dances are likely performed in the temple festivals, events etc., till, now in many villages, cities the folk dance is performed for any occasion. This article narrows down the variety of folk dances of South India.

Folk dance forms of Tamilnadu

Tamilnadu dance photoPhoto by Arian Zwegers

Poikkal Kudirai Attam


The name itself represents this is a dummy horse dance. Tamilnadu is the origin of the Poikkal Kudirai attam. Besides, Tamilnadu, the dance is performed in many parts of the country. In this dance show, the horse figure is carried on the hips of the dancers. The horse figure is made of lightweight material. The upper body carries horse figure and the lower body till legs are draped. The dancer carries a sword as if he rides the horse. Drumming sound pats the dance form to perform fast. The highlight of the dance show is the dancer may suddenly attack the audience in order to scare them. This is a suspense moment which is also a part of thrill and enjoyment.



Kummi is an ancient village dance form performed by young girls and women. They sing Kummi songs in the circle form with clapping hands. They move in and out of the circle by singing the songs and clapping. Mostly Kummi is performed during Pongal, Navaratri, temple festivals and family functions. The dancers need not be a professional dancer. Anyone can join in the Kummi dance to enthuse the viewers.

See Also -   Folk Dances of Uttar Pradesh

Folk dance forms of Andhra Pradesh

andhra pradesh dance photoPhoto by Arayil

Gobbi Dance

Gobbi dance is popular in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. During the Sankranti, the dance is performed. At the time, the courtyards of all houses are cleaned. The places are decorated with flowers on different kinds of rangavallis. “Gobbilu” is none other than the cow dung balls. These balls are placed in the middle of Rangavalli designs. Young girls dance and sing around the Gobbilu in the evening time.


This semi-nomadic dance is found throughout Andhra Pradesh. Every marriage and prime social occasions will never end with the Lambadi dance. Women wear colorful costumes and glittering ornaments, dance during the Holi festival with simple steps. While worshipping tutelary deities both men and women sing and dance around the large fire at night time.

Folk dance forms of Kerala

Kerala dance photoPhoto by spisharam

Kummatti Dance:

This mask dance is renowned in South Malabar region, Kerala. The dancers adorn themselves with vibrantly painted wooden masks on their faces, dance. During the Onam festival, these dancers wear the masks, decorate body with the leaves, grass dress, and dance. Trembling the onavillu string, they make tunes for the songs.

Arjuna Nritham:

This has been a popular dance in Kottayam and Alleppey districts of Kerala. During the night time, one or two persons perform the dance form. The tradition lamp “Nilavilakku” helps to give lighting. Among Pancha Pandavas, Arjuna was eminent in dancing. It has been said that Arjuna danced and sung for praising the Bhadrakali. As the dress lower part is made of peacock feathers, the dance is otherwise called as “Mayilpeeli Thookkam“.

Folk dance forms of Karnataka

Dollu Kunitha

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Dollu Kunitha originated from the Karnataka State. This folk dance is performed for the deity Beereshwara who is devotedly worshipped by Karnataka Gowdas. As the name says, it is a drum dance with a song accompanied by the melody drum sound. This dance is performed by the well-built men with high stamina. The folk dance is performed during the worship of Beereshwara. In the Beereshwara temples, usually, the instrument Dollu is being hung from the ceiling. During offering the pooja to the deity the ritual is complemented with dollu beats.

Featured Photo by Arian Zwegers

South Indian Folk Dances – Colorful, Vibrant Dance Forms

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