The Rajisthani Water Bearer folk Dance

Dec 24th, 2018

Traditional dance and musicians

We were very fortunate to have a local village family come to perform local music and dance before dinner. There were two musicians playing chimes and drums, while a smaller boy sat quietly beside the musicians. The woman did a water-bearer dance, starting with a pot balanced on her head. Over the course of the dance, she kept adding pots, until she was balancing 7 pots on her head! And if that wasn’t enough, she began to balance the pots while doing incredible feats. First they brought a pile of broken glass in a scarf and then she proceeded to walk and stomp on it with bare feet. She also balanced on top of two metal cups. She also balanced all 7 pots while she stood on a metal pan, shuffling forward with every step, never dropping the pots on her head.

It was all very impressive. Our facilitator explained that these dances were thought up by the women whose job it was to carry the water on their heads in clay pots, While walking the often long journey from the well, they would plan the dances and then entertain the village. The broken glass and other challenges represented the obstacles the women would face on their journey home, while fetching water for their families.

The family ended the performance with a fire dance as the grand finale. The original woman, plus a younger woman that looked like her daughter, both balanced metal pots of fire on their heads while twirling quickly. It looked very dangerous and very impressive, and they didn’t even hesitate for a moment. Their traditional costumes were intricately made, and they had special make-up adorning their faces.

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