Kud is a typical community dance performed in the middle mountain ranges of Jammu. During the rainy season, when the maize is harvested, the villagers come down from the nearby hills and gather in the vicinity of the gramdevata, the presiding deity of the village. To express their gratitude for protecting their crops, cattle, and children from natural calamities, the farmers dance Kud for the diety. Men, women and children wearing their best dress gather around a bonfire for the nightlong festivities. The musical accompaniment is provided by Dhauns, the drum, Bansiri, the bamboo flute, Ransingha, a kind of trumpet. The costume of the dancers vary from place to place as do the song sung while dancing. The Kud is usually danced all night on moonlight nights.
Lam-Kut-Lam is the harvest dance of the Kom tribe of Manipur. There are about ten thousand Korns belonging to the Kuki-Chin constellation of tribes. In the month of July/August, when the paddy transplantation is over, the Koms hold a grand festival. That is the time for the Reivang flowers to blossom. Young boys and girls wearing these flowers on their headgears dance joyously in the festival while singing specific songs. The well-to-do farmers of the Kom tribe present the dancers pigs, cows, and buffaloes as gifts. These are killed on the concluding day of the celebration and a grand feast is arranged. It is believed that the dance brings prosperity to the village. One of the songs that accompany the dance invokes a god named Khornu. In the dance the Reivang flowers symbolize richness and prosperity.
Karthi is performed by both men and women. Unlike Bhangra and Jhumar, in this dance there is a ritual beginning in which a God of harvest is worshiped first. Then women singing songs lead the procession to the place of the dance. Men follow them. Karthi is not as vigorous as Bhangra and Jhumar. In this dance a reeded wind instrument like Shehnai is used. The dancers perform in circular formation with men and women alternating and holding hands of the nearest dancers on either sides.
In Jhumar many elements of Bhangra are there. The only difference is that while dancing the dancers depict the various agricultural operations through dance movements. The dancers also execute gaits of different domesticated animals. The finale of Jhumar is exactly like Bhangra. It is also danced by men only and accompanying music is only provided by Dholak and singing of folk songs.
Punjab is considered as the granary of India. The main crops are wheat and sugarcane. Three harvest dances are performed in Punjab and all of them are associated with wheat cultivation. The most popular and widely known dance is Bhangra. Next to it is Jhumar. The Karthi dance is performed more in the hill region.
Bhangra is one of the most virile dances and is danced only by men. After the wheat seeds are sown the Bhangra is performed in the full moon night. First of all, in an open place in the village the leading drummer plays Dhol, the drum with two faces. One face is played by the fingers, the other face is played with a blunt stick. The rhythmic phrases played on the Dhol is indeed exhilarating. Hearing the drum beats dancers come and gather in the open place. A Bhangra dancer wears lungi, a Kurta, a waistcoat, and a turban. The dancers wear colorful dress. The Dhol (also called DholaK) player is the leader. He is joined by a pair or more of vocalists who sing couplets of folk song called Boli or Dhola.
After a couplet or two the stepping changes and the dancers shout with great zest the typical refrains like Bale-Bale, Oai-Oai, and Uhun-Uhun. Various kinds of stepping are there in the repertory of Bhangra. Acrobatic elements also spice up the dance. The main inspiration for Bhangra comes from the enlivening drum music. Earlier no other musical instrument was played with the dance. Nowadays idiophones like cymbals and Chimta are being used. The melodic content is only singing. No melodic musical instrument is played with Bhangra dance.