The Pookkavadi ceremonial dance is mainly performed by the Kudumbi, Ezhava and Nair communities of Trichur district in Kerala. Pookkavadi literally means floral arches. This dance originated as a component of Ambalakkavadi, a religious procession in which the model of a temple is ceremonially carried. The dancers of Pookkavadi accompany the procession carrying on their heads or shoulders arch – like structures made of colorful paper flowers. The dancers dance in circular formation and in faster tempo. The dance enhances the grandeur of the procession.
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.
The Chawnglaizawn is a ceremonial dance of unique kind. It may be called a funeral dance, since it is performed when the village chief or a very well-to-do person of the village dies. This custom is prevalent among the people of the Pawi tribal community. Chawnglaizawn literally means dance and jump for glory. The Pawis regard two days most important in a man’s life : the day he is born and the day he dies. It is a kind of homage the villagers pay to the dead chief who is glorified in the dance. The members of the chiefs family give pigs and fowls to the villagers as gifts, which are treated for a sumptuous feast. Earlier the dance was being performed by only one dancer. He used to carry a gun and while dancing and singing used fire shots upward occasionally. In course of time the dance changed considerably and now it is performed usually by 16 men and 16 women dancers. About five musicians provide the accompanying percussion music playing different sizes of gongs and drums.
The Guravayyalu ceremonial dance is performed by the priests of Kurava caste who mainly live in the Anantapur and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is strongly influenced by shaivism since the songs that accompany the dance eulogizes Lord Shiva. The dancers put on a typical costume made of bear skin with hair. Each dancer holds and plays while dancing a small hourglass shaped drum called Damarukam and a bamboo flute Jingle bells (ghungroo) are tied to the waist, knees, and ankles of each dancer who also holds a trident. From one of his shoulders hangs a small bag made of deer skin. The bag contains prasad (offering) offered to Lord Shiva.
The Pata-da Kunita of Karnataka is traditionally performed at the time when a village deity is taken out on ceremonial occasions. The dance having deep religious association is believed to have originated from Vaishnavite rites. Pata-da Kunita literally means the dance of the Patas which are 10 to 15 feet long bamboo poles decorated with colorful silken ribbons and with a small umbrella made of either silver or brass fixed on top end of each pillar. The dancers wearing red dhotis, folded scarves slung crosswise from left shoulder to right side waist, and garlands, each holds a Pata, the lower end of which is put inside a bag of cotton fabric slung from the shoulder. While dancing, the dancers form various choreographic patterns. Some of the dance movements have elements of acrobatics. The percussion music is provided by two kinds of native drums, namely, Tamte and Nagarika.