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Hojagiri: Old Culture Dance requiring expertise

Monday, April 29, 2013 | 5:45:00 AM

Hojagiri which is a famous folk dance of Tripura belongs to the Riang tribe. They are the expert of this dance art. This age old culture dance is performed on festive occasion like Hojagiri festivals, Durga Puja or Laxmi Puja.

Certain articles are required for a performance. They are earthen pitcher, oil lamp or candle, bottle, hankerships or flowers, Bailing (it is a plate made of bamboo) and metal plates. The speciality of this dance is that only lower half of the body is moved. The performers move metal plates while standing on a pitcher. Sometimes a bottle will be placed on the head with an oil lamp. All along the dance they twist their waist with much finesse like a snake to make their onlookers spellbound. It is the act of balance.

This dance is performed by only women. They group themselves in four to six members per group. The male members have the responsibility of singing and playing the instrument used in the particular dance perforamnce.

Kham which is actually a drum with skin surfaces on both the sides is used for the music. Another instrument used is the sumui. As the music instruments used are a simple one so as the songs sung by the gents. The lyrics of the songs are very simple and they have no relation with the dance going on the stage. *

Both males and females dress themselves by wearing their traditional dresses and ornaments. Women wear colourful traditional attires known as 'Rignai' (lower garment) 'Risa' and 'Rikutu' (upper garments). Male counter part wears 'Rikutu' for the loin and 'Kamcwlwi borok' for the upper part of the body.*

A dance performance takes thirty to sixty minutes to finish. It can be performed in an open area or on a stage. It requires extensive training and dedication to become an expert of this dance.

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