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Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Folk Dances in Meghalaya


folk dance of meghalaya Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, is a state in northeastern India known for its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and diverse traditions. One of the most captivating aspects of Meghalaya’s cultural heritage is its folk dances. These dances are not just a source of entertainment but also a reflection of the region’s rich history and traditions. In this article, we will delve into the world of folk dances of Meghalaya, exploring their significance and the role they play in the lives of its people.

The Melodious Rhythms of Meghalaya

Folk Dance of Meghalaya is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of traditional dance forms, each unique to a specific tribe or community within the state. These dances are deeply rooted in the daily lives, customs, and rituals of the indigenous people of Meghalaya. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most prominent folk dances of this enchanting region.

1. Nongkrem Dance

The Nongkrem Dance, also known as the Shad Nongkrem, is a significant cultural event celebrated by the Khasi tribe. Held annually in November, this dance is an essential part of the five-day Nongkrem Festival. The dance is performed by young Khasi women dressed in elaborate traditional attire, which includes vibrant jainsem (traditional Khasi dress) and stunning headgear. The rhythmic footwork and graceful movements of the dancers, accompanied by the beats of drums and the tunes of flutes, make the Nongkrem Dance a visual and auditory delight.

2. Wangala Dance

The Wangala Dance, also known as the Hundred Drums Dance, is an integral part of the Garo community’s cultural heritage. This dance is performed during the Wangala Festival, which marks the end of the agricultural season and the beginning of the new harvest. The highlight of this dance is the rhythmic beating of a hundred drums, creating a powerful and energetic ambiance. Dancers adorned in traditional Garo attire showcase their agility and coordination as they perform intricate steps to the captivating drum beats.

3. Doregata Dance

The Doregata Dance is a captivating dance form belonging to the Jaintia community of Meghalaya. This dance is performed during various festivals and celebrations, often portraying stories from the Jaintia mythology. Dancers wear colourful costumes, and the choreography is a combination of graceful movements and storytelling through dance. The Doregata Dance provides a unique opportunity to delve into the rich mythology and history of the Jaintia people.

4. Laho Dance

The Laho Dance, also known as the Sema Dance, is performed by the Semas, a tribe inhabiting parts of Meghalaya. This dance is often associated with the celebration of the arrival of spring. Dancers don traditional attire, which includes feathered headgear and ornate jewellery. The Laho Dance is characterised by swift footwork and vibrant movements, symbolising the joy and enthusiasm of the Sema community during the spring season.

Significance of Folk Dances in Meghalaya

Folk dances in Meghalaya are more than just artistic expressions; they hold deep cultural, social, and spiritual significance. These dances play a pivotal role in preserving the heritage and traditions of the various tribes that call Meghalaya home. Here are some of the key roles that folk dances play in the lives of the people of Meghalaya:

  • Cultural Preservation: Folk dances serve as a living repository of the cultural heritage of Meghalaya’s tribes. They pass down stories, customs, and values from one generation to the next.
  • Community Bonding: These dances bring communities together, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among tribe members. They are often performed during festivals and celebrations, strengthening social ties.
  • Spiritual Connection: Many folk dances have religious or spiritual significance. They are performed as offerings to deities or to seek blessings for a bountiful harvest and a prosperous future.
  • Tourism and Identity: Folk dances are a major attraction for tourists visiting Meghalaya. They not only contribute to the state’s tourism industry but also serve as a unique identifier for the different tribes.

The Evolution of Meghalaya’s Folk Dances

While the essence of Meghalaya’s folk dances remains unchanged, these art forms have evolved over the years. Modern influences, exposure to different cultures, and the passage of time have led to some adaptations in the way these dances are performed. However, efforts are being made to preserve the authenticity of these dances and pass them on to future generations.


In conclusion, the folk dances of Meghalaya are a testament to the state’s rich cultural heritage. They offer a glimpse into the traditions, stories, and values of the diverse tribal communities that have thrived in this region for centuries. Whether it’s the mesmerising Nongkrem Dance, the energetic Wangala Dance, the storytelling Doregata Dance, or the joyous Laho Dance, each dance form is a reflection of the unique identity and spirit of Meghalaya. As we celebrate and appreciate these dances, we contribute to the preservation of Meghalaya’s cultural tapestry for generations to come.

So, the next time you find yourself in the enchanting land of Meghalaya, don’t miss the opportunity to witness these captivating folk dances and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural mosaic of the state.

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Read more: Exploring the Vibrant [Folk Dance of Mizoram]

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