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Region : Rural Areas of Orissa
Falls On : Gamha Purnima (full moon night of September)
Performed By : Men
Deity : Saraswati

Ghoomra is a typical drum. It is just like a big pitcher with a long stem made of clay. The mouth is covered with the skin of a 'Godhi' (a reptile). When played with both hands, it produces a peculiar sound quite different from other varieties of drums.

Ghoomra Dance, OrissaThe dance performed to the accompaniment of this drum is called "Ghoomra Nata". It begins fifteen days earlier of 'Gamha Purnima" (full moon in September) and culminates on that night in a ceremonial performance. Young men of various communities fix a Ghoomra each on the chest with string tied the body simultaneously dance and play.

The Performance
The performance begins will slow circular movements. The 'Nisan' is a smaller variety of 'Kettledrum' played with two leather-sticks. The player always places himself in the centre and controls the tempo of the dance. He also indicates change over the movements. After a brief dance sequence in different rhythmic patterns all the dancers move in a concentric circle and then stand erect in a line. Then enters the singer who first sings in praise of 'Saraswati' and other gods and goddesses. During the song the drums remain silent.

After the prayer song 'Chhanda', 'Chaupadi' other literary folk songs are sung. Each couplet of a song is followed by a dance-peace.

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