Karma or Karma Munda Dance is the folk dance of the Munda Tribe in Jharkhand and its adjacent states of Chhattisgarh, West Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. Karma dance takes place normally during the auspicious Karma Festival where the “God of Fate” of “Karam” is worshipped. It is during the Autumn season the Karma Festival is held and celebrated during the month of August.
Men and Women take part in this dance performance. They dance to the tunes of the instruments such as Thumki, Chhalla, Payri and Jhumki. Timki is a drum which is used as the main musical instrument, which is placed on the ground between the dancers. The dancers move their feet to and fro in perfect rhythm. Men leap forward during the dance whereas women bend low near the ground. The dancers wear ethnic costume and jewelries.
The dance form is performed in honour and celebration of plantation of new trees. The local belief in Jharkhand is that Karma is a sacred tree which brings prosperity and good fortune. In this dance, dancers for a circle around their new plantation of trees and then perform by encircling their hands on each other’s waist. They even pass a branch of the tree between each other. There are different varieties of Karma dance among the Munda tribe such as Lashna Karam, Khemta Karam and Bensari.
Read more about the Karma Dance here