Sugga Dance


The Sua or Sugga dance of the women of Chhattisgarh and the Mikal Hills is significant for its elegance and grace. The word 'Sua' means a parrot. The women take recourse to this dance a month in advance of the festival of Diwali.

While dancing, the women lift their feet in imagination of a parrot-walk, then bend and jerk their heads in bird-like fashion to the clapping of hands. Groups of girls often go on long trips to the adjoining villages to display their excellence in this dance. Similarly they receive groups of girls visiting their own village. They prepare a wooden Sugga (a parrot) and place it on an earthen pot covered with paddy shoots.

One of the girls carries the pot on her head and stands as a revolving figure in the middle of the group to face the dancing row when the opposite row of the girls alternatively stops. In this dance no instrument is used with the exception of a wooden clapper named Thiski is played to provide rhythm, where the Gonds and the Baigas predominate.

The folk-dances of the hilly tracts of the Vindhyas are more indigenous and recreational. Not a single ceremonial occasion passes in any community without dance and music. The Bhils who inhabit the Vindhya ranges and the banks of the Narmada are traditionally prone to their Bhagoriah and Gavar dances.

Their instruments are an ordinary Mandal (big drum) and a Thali (brass plate). Hundreds of men and women join and move in a circle with wild shouts and lusty songs to the noisy abandon of the beat of drums. The Bhagoriah is typical of ecstasy and vibrating spectacle. Men waving bows and arrows synchronize their movements and stamping of feet with verve. During the Holi festival in Phalguna (Feburary) the Bhils and the Garasias perform a dance called the Ger.

The women of both these tribes also dance the Loor. They form a circle and then holding their hands, they dance the Loor with forward and backward movements. In the Pali dance, the women form two rows. The Duipali, the Pachmundya Pali and the Ondi-Chiti Pali are the other forms of the Pali dance.