Karma is a dance form commonly performed in the villages of Jharkhand
and Madhya Pradesh
. It is associated with Karma Festival
, which falls in the month of August.
The dance derives its name from the Karma tree, which stands for fortune and good luck. The ritual starts with the planting of the trees. The dancers of both groups (men and women) form a circle and dance with their arms around each other's waists.
During the dance they pass the branch of the tree. As the branch is washed with milk and rice, it should not touch the earth. The branch is then raised in the middle of the dancing arena. During the dance, the men leap forward to a rapid roll of drums. While women bend low to the ground with their feet moving in perfect rhythm to and fro, until the group of singers advances towards them.
Traditional musical instruments such as thumki, payri, chhalla and jhumki accompany this dance.
There are many varieties of Karma dance and the most popular varieties of the dance are Lahsua and Khare. Karma Dance is common among the Gonds and the Baigas. It is also one of the oldest dance form in India is the only dance form which is common to the many ethnic groups of India.