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The people of Goa love to sing and dance. Songs and dance are part of every Goan's life.

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Dances of Goa

Goa Holidays India > Goa Tourism > Dances

Dances of Goa Modni
Manddo is a song or rather a poignant story of love told in the form of a lovely song. The word Manddo, derives from the Sanskrit 'mandalam' meaning circular movement. It is believed that originally the Konkani Manddo dance involved movement in circle. At present such circular patterns are noticed when the dancers get into a feverish pitch in the concluding stages of the dance. In the normal course the dance moves along parallel lines, with graceful movements to and fro, advancing and reading, the men displaying in a flourish towards the women their colourful handkerchiefs and the women admiring their toy fans, with an eye on the men.

Goff Dance
It is a folk dance with cords, manifesting joy and happiness of Goan peasants after the harvest. It is performed during the Shigmo Festival in Phalgun month. Each dancer holds a colourful cord hanging at the centre point of the 'mand' - the place of performance and starts dancing intricately with the others, forming a beautiful, colourful, intricate braid at the end of the first movement. The music starts again and the dancers reverse the pattern of dancing so skillfully that the braid gets unrevelled and at the end of the second movement, all the cords are loose and single once again. There are 4 different braids of Goff. The songs sung are devoted to Lord Krishna. Ghumat, Samael and Surta Shansi or melodic instruments accompany the dance. Goff has an affinity with tribal dance forms of Gujarat.

Kunbi Dance
Kunbis, the earliest settlers of Goa, are a sturdy tribal community mostly settled in Salcete taluka, who though converted to Christianity, still retains the most ancient folk tradition of the land. Their songs and dance belonging to the pre-Portuguese era are uniquely social and not religious. The fast and elegant dance by a group of Kunbi women dancers, wearing traditional yet very simple dresses, lends a colourful touch to this ethnic art form. An example of a Kunbi song:
"The coy bride is filling the pitcher in the ankle-deep water of the rivulet and the fish (called) Thigur is winking at her."

Lamp Dance
This dance derives its name from brass lamps used in the dance during the Shigmo festival. The accompanying instruments include Ghumat, Samael, Cymbal and Harmonium. The performers indulge in a slow dancing movement, balancing brass lamps with burning wicks on the head and the hands. The balancing act controlled by tremendous self-discipline and exquisite footwork matching with the rhythms of the traditional folk songs are eye-catching. This group dance is popular in the southern and central Goa.

There are some activities which are peculiar to Goan Hindus. The spirit of the carnival finds its expression in Chandor village among the Hindus in the form of the Talgoddi dance. It literally means young men in rhythm in Konkani. It has eight distinct modes, expressed through its theme and is danced by eight to twelve men. They show their skill in footwork and muscles by dancing a number of group dances, which are a spontaneous outburst of genuine folk spirit, on the Mandd or paved courtyard under the graceful and cool mattov (pavilion made of thatched green coconut, tree plaited leaves and mounted on betel nut poles). It is a sort of an aimless dance expressing a pure rhythmic pattern of human movements, energy and sheer joy of living.

It is a form of song-cum-dance in the Christian repertoire of song among the people of Goa. It is a song composed by Christian artistes perhaps an expression of the Goan Christian nostalgia for their lost Hindu past, where the Devadasi or kolvont in Konkani was an alluring symbol.

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Church building was one of the main occupations of the early Portuguese and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main missions for finding the sea route to India.

Goa Cuisines
Goa is the home of the famous Vindaloo, originally an extra-hot and sour pork curry, but now made with a variety of meat and fish.

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