The Chholia martial dance is prevalent in the Kumaon region of Uttar Pradesh. Although it is unmistakably a martial dance, now it is performed usually as part of marriage procession, especially of the Rajputs. They dance in pairs holding sword and shield. With complicated stepping the dancers perform a mock combat of attack and defense. It requires great skill and practice to perform the dance with proficiency. The dancers are all male, but when it is performed at the time of Kriji-Kumbh festival women also participate in the dance. Because, according to a legend the kingdom named Swarnagotra, of which this region was a part, was ruled only by women and the festival is held in remembrance of that golden era. Kirji is an extremely poisonous flower that blossoms once in twelve years. As soon as the flower blossoms villagers go in a procession to destroy the flower so that its pollen or petals do not make the water sources poisonous. The Chholia dance is performed as part of this procession. Drumming is the main accompanying music embellished with the sounding of Trurhi, the U-shaped trumpet and Ransingha, a kind of horn.
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