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A Bhil dance at Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, India, 1912.

The caption that accompanies this image in the Royal Geographical Society's archive reads: 'The "Bhils" are a [tribespeople] who have settled in the central valley of the River Narmada, generally confined to the four contiguous states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. They are an independent people who embrace festivals, drama, music and dance. Ghumer, Raika Jhoria and Gauri are amongst their most popular dances.' During the feudal and colonial periods, Bhils were employed on the strength of their skills as shikaris (hunters) by the Rajputs, and as warriors by Maharana Pratap, who was waging a guerilla war against the Mughal Empire. Today, they are classed as an indigenous group and are one of India's best known and most respected tribal peoples. Indeed, some of their cultural traditions have been adopted by other communities. The dance called Ghumer (or Ghoomar), for example, is now associated with Rajasthani women, who perform it at weddings, singing and snapping their fingers and twirling gracefully to make their colourful dresses flare out.

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Comment:A Bhil dance at Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, India, 1912.(GEOGRAPHICAL ARCHIVE)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Sep 1, 2013
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