Gaur Dance, also known as Bison Dance, is one of the most popular dance forms of Madhya Pradesh
. The dance is mainly performed by the Bison Horn Marias
of South Bastar. This spectacular dance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe.
Gaur Dance is named after 'Gaur', a ferocious bison. The invitation for a dance is given by the sounding of a bamboo trumpet or a horn.
In this dance form male performers attack each other and chase the female dancers. The dance steps are similar to the movements of a bison. Male performers wear head-dresses frilled with stringed 'cowries' and plumes of peacock feathers. They usually carry flutes and drums to the dancing ground. Women dancers, embellished in brass fillets and bead necklaces over their tattooed bodies, later joins the male performers. They enter the dance ground carrying dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands.
Male performers beat the drums, tossing the horns and the feathers of their head-gears to the rising tempo thus giving the dance a wilder touch.