Santali Dance Form | Enej

Santal people have very joyous living. As they have community living and thus in occasion of happiness, events and in any festival they celebrate it by singing folksongs and folk dance.
Their dance consists of all holding each other’s hand which shows their communal unity.
But in different occasion, events and festivals their dance form also varies .Like songs, in Marriage ceremony they sing ‘dong’ songs and same dances ‘Dong enej’ .In baha festival, they dance ‘Baha’. Different festivals have different dance forms. Santal has many dance form.
There is mainly 8 dance form, which is traditionally accompanied by two drums: Tamak and Tumda. The flute (Tiriyo) is considered as the most important Santal traditional instrument which evokes the soul and feeling of nostalgia of Santals.

Dong enej :

Taking strides with drum the young men come forward and then the dance commences in two rows, their arms interlinking in pairs. The rows surge forward like rhythmic waves and then recede with supple footwork and swaying heads and bodies. The boys in the row opposite play on flutes, drums, and large cymbals and sing songs in perfect harmony. There are certain rounds of dance, after which women sings songs and the men playing tamak and tumdak also sings the song with context to song sung by women.

Baha enej :

Baha enej(dance) is performed during the eve of baha festival .This dance comprises the men and women . The dance starts with the calling the ‘Nayake’(prist)  from his house to  the Jaherthan . And at Jaher both men and women dances, when all the rituals at Jaher is completed they take the ‘Nayake’ back to his home with dancing in rows this dance form is called dahar enej. When they reach to Jaher, they dance baha enej.

Langde  enej :

Lagnde Dance by women.

This is performed in occasion of joy and any festival. Langde has many form and variation according to the occasion. Like in Sohray festival ‘Langde’ is also danced.

Jhika Enej:
Jhika enej is a dance variant, which is used when any dance form like Langde, dong get to its end. In some places Jhika enej is another dance form.

Dahar enej:
dahar enej dance santali
Dahar enej (Dance)

Dahar means ‘way or road’. Apart from ‘Akhra’, ‘Jaher’ and any particular place, it is danced in road or any path .

Karam Enej:

Karam enej

Karam enej is danced in karam festival, where karam tree is being worshipped  to protect village from disasters, bad evils and so that peace could  rest in village.

Dassai Enej:

It is danced by men only. Dassai is holy dance of Santal people, In this dance people adorn themselves with sapap(Dress and ornaments) of Thakur and Thakran. They wear/use Sharee,Sanka(for hand),Lipur(For leg),Paigon(small bell),Marah Pincher(peacock feather),Iynom(soot),Sunum(mustard oil),Sindur(Vermilion) etc.
                      There are many mythology behind dasai and why it is danced, according to one mythology ‘devi’ and ‘durga’ were the bonga of ojha and they used to be worshipped by oil,vermillion etc this is why in dasai dance people use these . The bonga ‘devi’ and ‘durga’ was taken to somewhere anonymously, and then the master/ojha and disciple dresses like women and visit each houses to search their bonga .

Another mythologies include Mahisasur that durga was Mahisasur, some says  once upon time there used to be a king whose daughter was kidnapped by kings enemy . Then the kings sent a group of warriors to search for the princess. The warriors dressed up themselves like dance performers, used their weapons like musical instruments and props for dance. They behaved like normal people,visited every house of the villages and asked for water, rice or grains in a hope to get any clue about the princess . The dasai song is a grief song.

Danta Enej :
It is a martial dance which shows their bravery skills and they carry their bow –arrow and other instruments.

Sadpa Enej :
Sadpa dance
Sadpa enej.

Sadpa Enej is mainly by women, it is very tough dance to do and needs practice and concentration. It has no any particular time to dance and mainly dance while welcoming someone or guest .


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