Dhangar is a shepherd community who migrated long ago from the Saurastra legion and have settled in the hilly regions of north and north western parts of Goa. Their presiding deity is Bira Deva. The community still retains some of the customs of the region they earlier belonged to. They, like the people of Gujarat, observe Navaratra with great zeal and earnestness. In this nine-day long religious observance the head of the family fasts throughout taking only a cup of milk everyday. On the tenth day all the families observing Navaratra bring their family deities to a particular place where the ceremonial dance is performed with great devotion. The Dhangar dance is performed only by men. Each dancer wears the ceremonial dress: white dhoti, white kurta with red embroidery and a turban. The dance is vigorous as it is performed with devotional zeal. The music which is predominantly percussive is provided by Dhol, a barrel-shaped drum, Thaang, a pair of cymbals, and a drone called Taso.
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