15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Gheraiya - Gher Dancers
This picture was taken during Gher or Rathva Festival at Kavant, a small village located in the heart of the Rathva homeland near the town of Chhota Udepur about a 100 kms from Vadodara, of Gujarat State in India.
It is one of the most exciting Tribal Festivals of Gujarat and one can witness the tribes retaining the aboriginal culture in this festival. Every year during Holi festival (Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love") it is celebrated with wild abandon through dance primordial blending the rhythm with the sashaying of the forest and the frolicking of the animals in the undergrowth.
The males who participate in the Gher (Tribal folk dance), dress up in traditional dhoti, with bells on their waist, body and face covered with white tattoo, a tall turban made from tie-dye fabric. Some of the men carry cane sugar signifying the harvest and wear an elaborate headgear which is a conical hat stuck with small framed photos of local deities surrounded by an array of peacock feathers. Rice paste and ash are blended to make a dye painting the bodies with circles and dots in a ritualistic salutation to the jungle cat, as shown in this picture.
© Tejal Mewar.
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||April 28, 2017, 6:29 a.m.