- Kartick Soren
Santhal is one of the most abundantly found tribes in India. A major chunk of this tribe can be found in West Bengal and Jharkhand. Santhal tribe has a rich cultural lineage and immense solidarity. Its members are basically the devotees of 'Thakurji', the deity they believe created this world. They move to the beats of music, to celebrate the glory of nature, raise a message and offer prayers to the presiding deity of their tribe, through a dance known as Santhal dance. The Santhal dance is considered to be one of the best tribal folk dances of India, which offers immense vibrancy and cheerfulness. This dance is supposed to be a replica of the folk dance of Madhya Pradesh. Santhal dance is generally performed by both the men and women of the Santhali tribe. It often covers issues related to gender and land rights. While performing, the male Santhali dancers are dressed up in dhoti and make use accessories, like turban, tree leaves, flowers and bushes, during the dance. The dance is basically performed on special occasions. During the spring festival, it is performed to the glory of nature. Santhali dance is accompanied with folk music instruments like flutes, pipes, drums and cymbals.