Dhamal Dance of Gujarat

Earlier this dance was limited to the tribals and the locals of Gujarat. Today Dhamal is known at the international level and this is due to the cultural exchange programs. Bharoch belongs to Gujarat region and here Siddi community is very active. Originally they belong to Africa from where their ancestors came along with Portuguese and scattered every where. In Gujarat they settle in Junagarh, Surendernagar, Jagrabad etc. People belonging to this community have preserved their African culture and traditions alive. This can be very clearly seen in this dance.

The passion for hunting travels in their blood and the happiness derived after hunting is clearly reflected in this dance. Dhamal is also known as Mashira dance. Today it is also known as a form of prayer dance.Siddi community perfoms this dance on 28th October every year in honor of Baba Hazrat. Young children of the age 12 and and adults of age 50 come and attend this dance and start dancing forn 9pm to 5am without ant signs of tiredness. This dance is also performed occasion like where these people are called to perform.

In the earlier days Dhol or Mushira as well as small dholkis were played as essential instruments. Dhol is know as Dhamal in their tounge. If the lades play the instrument Mushira it is called Maimisra or Sailani. During the rules of kings the Siddis used to be invited by the kings to perform the dance as a source of entertainment and were awarded for it. The dancers used to dance to the full swing sometimes wearing the forest costume. They would drenched themselves in the sweat but not stop dancing.

The dancers sometimes show heart shaking actions . They are sometimes seen throwing the coconut in the air which falls on the head of the dancer breaking it into bits and pieces also sometimes they dance bare feet over the burning fire but no frowning is seen on their foreheads. Dancers wear very less costumes and generally chest is bare. The lower is a open fabric tied around the waist.The lower gas sheel sequences and wear a waist belt having shells. Peacock feathers are seen sometimes on their lower costume. People belonging to this community are proud to be and even person bearing a high of ficial status also like to perform this dance with complete fun and frolic.