Top Rural Folks Play in Odisha


Odisha is a state known for its rich culture and tradition, of which folk plays form an important part. In fact, these ritualistic folk art forms of the state have garnered recognition round the country and even on a global scale.

Here is a list of top 10 Rural Folks Play in Odisha:

  1. Animal Mask Dance:

One of the most famous rural folks in Odisha is the Animal Mask Dance, which is native to the rural areas of the southern part of the state, in Ganjam district. The folk performance takes place on the marriage ceremonies as well as the festival of Thankurani Yatra. Bull, tiger and horse are the animals depicted in the folk.

  1. Baunsarani:

Literally translated, baunsarani means the queen of bamboos and it is a rhythmic dance performed by young girls. Crossed bamboo bars are placed on the song and girls move around on them amidst drum beats and folk songs.

  1. Chaitighoda Nacha:

The next folk on the list of top 10 rural folks of Odisha is the famous Chaitighoda Nacha, which is performed by the artists of Kaibarta caste who reside in the coastal part of the state. The performance is a part of a festive ceremony in the month of Chaitra and is done by a men dressed up like horses.

  1. Dhuduki Nacha:

Dhuduki Nacha is a special kind of dance which is performed by two or more persons, who are dressed in traditional outfits. The dance is accompanied by playing a special kind of musical instrument called dhuduki, which resembles a drum and has a wooden bar attached in the middle with a metallic string.

  1. Pahalad Natak:

A special theatrical folk performance is a part of the culture of the southern district of Ganjam. The play is enacted by artists who depict the folklore of Pahalad, a boy devotee of Lord Krishna and his tyrant father Hiranyakashipu.

  1. Jhoomar:

Featuring next on the list of top 10 rural folks of Odisha is the Jhoomar dance, a native dance of the Sundargarh district. It is essentially done by men folk of Munda and Mahanta communities and is accompanies by intricate footsteps and traditional songs.

  1. Gopala Laudi:

Gopala Laudi is a special kind of dance which represents the playful acts of Lord Krishna and his gowallas, the cowherd friends. It is performed by a group of dancers, usually 12 or 16 in number, who use wooden sticks to perform it. The folk performance is a part of Dola Purnima festival.

  1. Jodi Sankha:

Sankha means a shell and Jodi shankha is a traditional folk which involves blowing of conch along with physical movements of the artists.

  1. Kandhei Nacha:

Kandhei Nacha refers to puppet-theater, in which artists use puppets to enact historical events as well as plays which give social messages. The puppets are moved around with strings, which require a lot of skill on the behalf of the artist.

  1. Krishna Leela:

As the name suggests, Krishna Leela involves the portrayal of events related to the life of Lord Krishna. It forms an important part of the festivals of Holi and Rasa Purnima.

All these rural folks have become synonymous with the culture of the state and are appreciated by all the people who visit Odisha to experience its rich heritage.