Bijja Pandu

In Koraput district of Orissa live the Koyas, a tribal community. Most of their dances reflect the perils of jungle life and hunting. In the lunar month of Chaitra (March/April) the Koyas observe a festival called Bijja Pandu to worship their deity who bestows good and plentiful harvest. During the festival the men folk go hunting while the women perform the dance named after the festival. On other occasions both men and women participate in the dance which starts with slow steps and the rhythm builds up gradually with the tempo of the drum music. The women provide the beat with sticks fitted with jinglebells, while the men wearing turbans decorated with bison horns play the drums.