Bardo Chham Folk Dance, Arunachal Pradesh

India is a land of rich cultural heritage. Numerous cultures and customs have developed with time based on traditions and myths in various parts of the country. One such land is Arunachal Pradesh which has its mention in the ancient Hindu literature like the Puranas and the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The various myths surrounding the place have helped to influence Bardo Chham, a dance form to develop. It is a folk dance of a small native community known as the Sherdukpens who reside in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. Bardo Chham showcases the triumph of the good over the evil forces.

This ancient folk dance is performed by the Sherdukpens tribal community on their festive occasions. The word Bardo Chham means dance of horoscopes in local language. Members of the community believe that both good and bad forces drive the life of mankind. They further say that twelve different evil forces appear on every month in a year and get together. The tribal of Sherdukpens community mask themselves as various animals and fight against these twelve evil forces. Performers dance in accompaniment of large frame drums and cymbals. There are various acts which portray the victory of the good over evil and rejoicing it in the most unique style. Dancers wear colourful and vibrant costumes with mask of various animals, each highlighting the stories behind the Bardo Chham dance. This ancient folk dance is quite popular in this region and is part of the diversified cultural background of India.

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