IASbaba- Revise Culture Related Terms-Part 5

  • IASbaba
  • August 10, 2015
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This is the compilation from CCRT and NIOS 🙂 Hope it helps

Art  Form Tribe Key features Place
ChadarBadar Santhal

Performing Art –  Puppetry that tells stories of Santhal way of life and migration

Terai region of himalayas
Saura Saura

Painting – Similar to Warli but larger and elongated. Natural colors are used


Martial art – One of the oldest fighting systems in existence


Martial art  – Weapon based martial art. Uses animal movements of tiger, snake, eagle forms and foot work patterns plays an important role;
Kuttuvarasai – part of silambam – unarmed version

Pari-Khanda Rajputs

Martial art  – Sword and shield fighting. Techniques are also used in chau dance

Kondapalli dolls  

Sculpture – Made from soft Poniki wood – light, flexible and strong.

made piece by piece and are stuck together using an adhesive paste made of tamarind seeds, followed with a coating of lime glue.

Channapatna toys  

traditional craft that is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organisation.

Natural dyes are used to colour the toys and are blended with lac to make lac sticks which are then applied to the finished wooden objects. This age old traditional art dates back to the reign of Tipu Sultan who is said to have invited Persian artists to teach his artisans the craft.

Marapachi dolls  

A male-female/raja-rani dolls usually gifted to bride in marriage. Made from kongu trees.

known for their intricate carvings and the elaborate attires that people dress them in.

Made in Tirupati

Andhra Pradesh
Tanjavur dolls  

Included in the Government of India Geographical Indications Registry, the dancing dolls made of wood pulp or papiermaché or clay. They are called so because of their bobbing head and body, that are made separately and balanced such that the parts oscillate.

Matka silk In towns of Malda and Murshidabad

Matka is an Indian term for rough handloom silk fabric made from very thick yarns spun out of pierced cocoon in the weft and organzine in warp. The yarns are obtained from short ends of silk from Mulberry silkworms (Bombyxmori) and spun by hand without removing the gum (sericin)

West Bengal
Aari Embroidery  

Handicrafts – needle work with beads or muthai and chain stitch; inspired by the floral motifs of Mughal period

Kutch, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi

Baluchari Saree  

Weaving -It is a hand woven saree using richly dyed silk, with intricate motifs depicting Indian mythology woven onto its large ‘pallu’.

Baluchar, Murshidabad, West Bengal

Lavani / Tamasha Dhangars or shepherds of Sholapur


Maharashtrian folk including song and dance

Maharashtra and konkan coast.
Kalbelia Kalbelia tribe

The dance form consists of swirling, graceful movements that make this dance a treat to behold. Women dance while men provide music for the performance.

Kalbelia dance and songs are a part of UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Musical instrument used – Pungi – the one used by snake charmers

Bhavai dance  

It involves tricky balancing acts, right from balancing seven to nine brass pots on the head to balancing oneself (along with the pots) on narrow and unstable objects like a glass bottle, brass plate or the edge of a sword. The brass pots can, and are often, substituted by an even greater number of earthen pots.
P.S. : A theatrical form of Gujarat is also called Bhavai


Harvest dance – energetic and rhythmic – performed by both men and women


Dance using bright colored bamboo sticks where participants strike the bamboo sticks in rhythmic fashion. Dancers go round a drummer usually at the centre of the stage


Dance form also originated in Gujarat but uses hand and feet movement; traditionally performed around a holy lamp


Performed only by women in Punjab. Female counterpart to Bhangra

Ghoomar Bhil

A traditionally passed folk dance of Mewar of Rajasthan includes rhythmic swirling. Women’s dance performed in women gatherings.

Chari Gujjar

Women’s dance form depicting collecting of water. Women dance by balancing brass pots which are kept ignited with the cotton seeds dipped in oil

Gawari Bhil

A dance drama performed by both men and women. Usually performed by troupes which travel from one village to another

Kath Puthli Bhati

World famous wooden puppetry of Rajasthan. Wooden puppets are controlled by metal strings

Made of single piece of wood and are colorfully dressed

Teratali Kamar

Worship of baba ramdev. Bhajans are sung during the performance

Walar Gharasia

Prototype for ghoomar. Performed by women

SutaKhandeiNacha / Kundhei  

String puppet show from Ganjam

Strings are attached to a triangular wooden prop

Costumes are similar to Jatra performances.

Puppets have no legs and have long skirts

Have more joints and are therefore more versatile, articulate and easy to manipulate

Baunsa Rani  

Baunsarani literally means “The Bamboo Queen”. Mainly little girls exhibit various acrobatic postures on the crossed bamboo bar as well as on the floor with exquisite scintillating movement synchronized with the beat of drums and songs.

KommuKoya Kommukoya tribe

Dance form of Chintoormandal, east Godavari district

Andhra Pradesh
Daminda Apatani

Performed by girls during Dree festival

Arunachal Pradesh
Guravayyalu Kurava

Performed by priests. Famous in Kurnool. Influenced by shaivism

Andhra Pradesh

Needlework – White thread is embroidered on cool, pastel shades of light muslin and cotton garments. Fabric is usually thin else the needle would not pierce. Geographic indication provided in 2008

Phulkari Believed to have been introduced by Jats but practiced by Punjabi women

Needle work -use of darn stitch on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth with coloured silken thread. Punjabi women created innumerable alluring and interesting designs and patterns by their skilful manipulation of the darn stitch.
Named based on extent of needle work
Phulkari – Shawls and head scarfs

Bagh – Work covering the entire fabric

Adhabagh – scattered work all along the fabric


Needle work – Running stitch all along the cloth.
Also used in making cushions, quills, beds etc by stacking old sarees

Birbhum, West Bengal

Intricate tie and dye process where the yarn is dyed before weaving. Also called double ikat

PatanPatolaof Gujarat has GI

Originally in Gujarat, also famous in Odisha

Needlework – Kashmiri embroidery – It draws inspiration from nature. Birds, blossoms and flowers, creepers, chinar leaves, ghobi, mangoes, lotus, and trees are the most common themes.


Believed to be brought to Karnataka by the Lambani tribe followed by women courtiers of Mysore dynasty.

involves embroidering very intricate patterns like gopura, chariot, palanquin, lamps and conch shells on traditional silk and Ilkal sarees.

The work is laborious and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without using knots to ensure that both sides of the cloth look alike.
Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation holds GI for this art.


Jamdani is a fine muslin cloth on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread were/was used.

Traditionally woven in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Venkatagiri in Andhra Pradesh is famous for this form of weaving

In news as PM Narendra Modi presented a tapestry depicting Kamadhenu and Kalpavriksha to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

Venkatagiri, Andhra Pradesh
Pattachitra Artists known as chitrakaras with title Mohapatra or Maharana

Painting – cloth based scroll painting.
Usually Hindu deities – Jagannath and vaishnava cult are depicted

Woman members prepare the glue, the canvas and apply colours what we call the fill-in, and give the final lacquer coating. The master hand, mostly the male member, draws the initial line and gives the final finishing. Patta paintings are done on small strips of cotton cloth
Talapattachitra – a variation where palm leaves are used as canvas

Kalighat paintings

Simple painting form developed around Kalighat under British patronage by artists called patuas

Uses water colors

Painted with bright colors on clear background

West Bengal
Mithila / Madhubani  

pictures using vegetable colour and a few earthen colours

Finished in black lines on cow dung treated with paper

Mostly depicts Hindu mythology

Marks seasonal festivals and life events

Intricate flora, animal and bird motifs are used to fill the gap

Passed on from mother to daughter

Mithila of Bihar

Colors – Vegetable dyes, plant roots, leaves, salt of iron, tin, copper, alum

Gets the name from “kalam” – pen as intricate designs are made using pen

Includes Hand painting as well as block painting

Patronised by Vijayanagar kingdom

Legacy from father to son

Scenes from mythology are usually depicted with floral decorative patterns for embellishments

Influence of Persian motifs and designs

Andhra Pradesh

Scroll painting of Bhilwara district

Themes include heroic figures, rural life, animals and birds

2D depiction in Bold lines

Art form is approximately 700 years old

Warli Gond and Kol Made mostly by women

Predominantly religious

Geometric patterns like circles, triangles, rectangles
spiral structuring of images is common

White color/ rice flour is used on dark background

Minakari Sonar or Sohail caste of Kshatriyas

Jewellery designing using enamel work

Art of coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colors that are decorated in an intricate design

Gulab mina is famous in Benaras







Bandhni Started by Khatri, a kshatriyacommunity in Gujarat Tie and dye art for cotton fabrics

Called Chungidiin Tamilnadu




Bidriware Persian art brought to India by Bahamani rulers

Metal art – striking inlay artwork,

important export handicraft of India

prized as a symbol of wealth.

The metal used is a blackened alloy of zinc and copper inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver. This native art form has obtained GI

Bidar, Karnataka
Igu Dance Idu Mishmi tribe

meaning ‘dance of the Priest’, a unique ritual dance.


Igu dance is performed on Reh festival, different ritual acts etc with an aim of appeasing various spirits for family and social well-being and prosperity.

Arunachal Pradesh’s tableau for RD parade 2015

Arunachal Pradesh
Daang Dangis

Kahaiya and Dholki – the percussion instruments besides short shehnai are used in the dance.

The men hold their arms round the women’s shoulders and women clasp the men by their waists forming circular formations moving in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

The women climb on the shoulders of men and form a human pyramid.

Performed in RD parade and won first position in 2015

Lezim Dance  

Named after a wooden idiophone to which thin metal discs are fitted which produce a jingling sound and the dancers use this while dancing.

Dholki, a drum instrument is used as the main percussion music.

Very rigorous movements


Folk singing style neither accepted as Raga nor reckoned among freely rendered folk songs


a boat song, sung by boatmen while going down streams of the river,

the word Bhatiyali comes from Bhata meaning ebb or downstream

West Bengal
Ragini   Folk song form Haryana
Gulraj   Folk song form Kashmir

popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala

Colourful costumes and awe inspiring head gears with strong colours of turmeric,wax and arac

Head gears are upto 5 -6 feet high

Padayani Tinta subsect of Ganaka community

Performance using masks

In honour of bhadrakali

Performed in bhagavati temples – southern variant of theyyam

blends music, dance, theatre, satire, facial masks, and paintings

Koli Koli – a fishermen tribe

Fishermen dance

Includes both men and women. Men dance with fishing oars

Dhumal Wattal

Only the men folk perform this dance on specific occasions and at set locations.

Generally performed with wearing long colourful robes and tall conical caps, studded with beads and shells.

Jammu and Kashmir

Martial art – consists of 2 forms

Thang ta – armed version – uses sword, spear, axe and shield

Saritsarak – unarmed version – uses kicks, hand strikes and grappling

Closely associated with Burmese Bando or bandshay


Folk song – flourished in Braj

Praises of Lord Krishna’s charming leelas

Uttar Pradesh

Ballad of Bundelkhand

Heroic stories of Alha and Udal who served Raja Parmal of Majoba

Highlights the moral principles of morality, chivalry and nobility

Uttar Pradesh

Songs based on love pranks of Radha-Krishna

Sang during Holi celebrations only

Uttar Pradesh

Songs sung during the birth of male child

Influenced the Muslim families and the tradition is now found among Muslims too

Depicts the mingling of two cultures

Uttar Pradesh

Sung by women in rainy season on third day of bhadra

Associated with a dance involving steps in semi circular motion

Uttar Pradesh
Shakunakhar -Mangalgeet  

Prayers for good health and long life during religious and auspicious occasions of child-birth, baby-showers, ganeshpooja etc.

Sung only by women without any instrument


Songs depicting twelve months of the year

Different natural entities represent different months of the year


Spring/ Harvest song which accompanies the celebrations of Basant Panchami


Sung by women of hilly areas when they go to forests to collect grass for cattle

Emphasis on importance of labour along with entertainment


Literally means lover

Sung by peasants working in fields


Sung by women during the festival of Lotia
Women bring water from lakes or ponds in Lotasand kalashby decorating them with flowers


Sung during the festival of Teej on third day after new moon in the month of sharavana

Songs revolve around union of Shiva and Parvati


Songs on tales of Mahabharata

Singer assumes all the characters during the ballad accompanying it with his powerful singing


Portrays the picture of common folk

Associated with story of Shukra who calls off his marriage for the sake of his mother

Bhojpuri region

Slow verse and refrain composition dealing with love, tragedy and both social injustice and political resistance during Porutguese presence


Group song performed using musical instruments like noot, rababs, sarangi, tumbaknari


Harvest songs

Regional music with most melodic and harmonious elements


A group performance where girls singing on peak of the hill seldom see the group of boys who give a reply to them in a song seated on another peak of the hill.
Sung especially in Kulu Valley

Himachal Pradesh

Semi classical vocal music inspired by camel riders

Characterised by jumpy and flashy tonal movements


Literally means “narration of story in glorious terms”

Odes in praise of individual heroes, incidents or place

Chief narrator is known as Shahir


Originally sung in praise of god

Brought from Persia

Qawwali performance presents a fascinating, interchanging use of solo and choral modalities


Highly dramatic form of ballad

Singer plays a tambura while reciting the story

A famous exponent of the form DarojiEeramma passed away in august 2014

Andhra Pradesh

Name is derived from a unique instrument called “kathi” or “Ram thali” or wooden clappers

It is a form of worship and offering on behalf of “das”, the devotee

Sana Lamok  

Sung by a priest at the time of coronation of King or to welcome the King

Also sung to evoke the spirit of Pakhangba, the presiding deity

SaikutiZai Mizo

Mizos are known as singing tribe

SaikutiZai are songs composed by a poetess Saikuti in praise of warriors

Chai hia Mizo

The songs that accompany chai dance performed during ChapcharKut Festival


“Bow song”

Lead singer handles an instrument which is bow shaped

Themes are usually theological and emphasise conquest of good over evil


Song sung in praise of Chola Monarch

Ammanai is wooden ball.

Women folk sing appropriate songs while playing the ball.


Unique combination of dance, music and acting.

Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter


Theatre form known for softness of emotions and accomplishment of rasa

Language in Rohtak – Haryanvi

Language in Haatras – Brajbhasha

Rohtak and Haatras

Traditional theatre form of Kanpur, Lucknow and Haatras

Initially performed by men only. Now women are also included

Gulab Bai of Kanpur gave new dimension to old theatrical form

Uttar Pradesh

Theatrical performance which is partly entertainment and partly a ritual offering made to Goddess Amba.

Subtle social criticism laced with pungent humour is the speciality of Bhavai.

P.S. : a dance form of Rajasthan is also called Bhavai


Musical plays during fairs in honour of gods, or religious rituals and ceremonies

Born and nurtured in Bengal

Krishna Jatra was popularised by Bhakti saint Chaitanya’s influence

West Bengal

Used for both stage and the performance

Traditional theatre form with songs in between dialogues

Dialogues are called bol

Rhyme in narration is called vanag

Tunes are called Rangat

Madhya Pradesh

Performance of Assamese classical plays called AnkiaNaat

Sutradhar or narrator begins the story in Sanskrit and the play continues in Brajboli or Assamese


Performers personify the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu wearing masks of wood or papiermache

Konkan coast and Goa

Started in 17th Century AD under the patronage of King Manavada of Calicut

Cycle of 8 plays performed for eight consecutive days




Performed in the month of vrischika (November – December) in the Kali temples as an oblation to Goddess

Koodiyattam/ Kuttiyattam  

Oldest traditional theatre form of Kerala

Believed to be the prototype for Kathakali

Based on Sanskrit theatre traditions

Vidushak alone delivers dialogues

Emphasis on hand gestures and eye movements


Theatre form based on mythological stories known for its costumes and make up


Literally means street play

Performed at annual temple festivals of Mariamman(Rain Goddess) to achieve rich harvest

Cycle of eight plays based on life of Draupadi


String puppets(marionettes) styled and designed like characters of Yakshagana

Have joints at legs, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees

Puppets are manipulated by 5-7 strings tied to a prop. Sometimes more complicated movements are manipulated by two or more puppeteers


Largest, heaviest and most articulate of all traditional Indian marionettes.

Combine techniques of both rod and string puppets

Puppets made of wood

Strings for manipulation are attached to iron ring worn  round the puppeteer’s head

Tamil Nadu

Literally togalu – skin/leather bombe – dolls

Shadow puppets made from treated leather

Small in size and size varies with social status of characters the puppets portray – Larger for kings and smaller for common people and servants


Shadow puppetry

Large in size with jointed waist, shoulders, elbows and knees

Colored on both sides. Hence throw colored shadows on screen

Andhra Pradesh

Shadow puppets of one piece and have no joints

Not colored – hence opaque shadows

Puppets are made of deer skin

Props such as trees, mountains, chariots etc are also displayed along with main characters


Rod puppets made from wood – inspired by Bunrakupuppets of Japan

Costumed like actors of Jatra and usually have 3 joints

A bamboo made hub is tied to the waist of puppeteer on which rod holding the puppet is placed.

Puppeteers manipulating the rods, move and dance imparting corresponding movements to the puppets

West Bengal

Rod puppets made of wood

Have no joints and are made of a single piece


Glove puppets costumed as kathakali performers

Height varies from 1-2 feet

Head and arms are carved of wood and joined together with thick cloth, cut and stitched into a bag


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