Posted August 21, 2013 by uma in Culture and Living

Karagattam: The folk dance from Tamil Nadu

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Can you walk some distance holding a pot over your head? It requires a lot of balance, right? Imagine, some people actually dance with the pot over their heads. Yes, true.. and this dance form is called Karagattam in Tami Nadu., Karagattam is an ancient folk dance where dancers balance the water pot on their head. This pot is decorated with flowers.

There are two types of Karagattam dances. One is Aatta Karakam where decorated pots are kept on the dancer’s head and they dance for entertainment. The other one is Shakti Karakam which is performed in temples as spiritual offering. This dance is usually done for worshipping Mariamman, who is the goddess for fertility.

This dance form involves intricate steps and body and arm movements which decides the skill of performer. This dance can be either performed individually or in pairs, by both men and women. Some steps in this dance include dancing on a rolling block of wood, threading a needle while bending backwards, up and down a ladder and dancing while standing over a plate filled with water and many more. It will look like circus and it entertains people. Earlier, the pots used to be made of mud but now they are made of bronze and steel.

The dance involves balancing of a beautifully decorated pot filled with sand and water and sometimes rice as the dancers perform a synchronized movement of turns and acrobatics. There are drum beats and other musical accompaniments that go along with the dance. Earlier only drum beats were there but the ritual of dancing evolved when people started to feel and move to the rhythm.

This dance form dates back to three thousand years. It began as a means to relax from hunting and gathering. Also, it was used to worship Goddess Amman so that she could improve fertility across the land.

This dance is quite popular in Tamil Nadu and even in Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka where there are many Tamilians.

It is believed that the best Karagattam dancers are the most worthy husbands. :-) .. Just check with your husband if he can do this Karagattam dance :-)

Dances usually entertain the audience and the dancer also feels happy doing it.

Karagattam: The folk dance from Tamil Nadu, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings


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