Hozagiri Dance, Tripura
Next to the Tripuris, the Reangs constitute the second biggest group among the tribal population of Tripura. The Reangs like other tribal communities have a distinct art and culture of their own. Dance forms an integral part of their lives. While the themes of the dances remain almost the same as the other tribes, the dance form of the Reang community is quite different from the others. The movement of the hands and the upper part of the body is somewhat restricted, whereas the movement from the waist to the feet creates a wonderful wave. The dancer stands on an earthen pitcher with a bottle on her head. A lighted lamp is balanced on the bottle. The Reang dancers bend and twist the lower parts of their bodies in a rhythmic fashion, without disturbing the bottle and the lighted lamp. This dance is performed during a festival celebrated annually in the month of April, just before the selection of a site for Jhum, to pray to ‘Mainuma’ the Goddess of Wealth. The Reangs believe that if the Goddess is pleased with the singing and dancing, she will bless them with bumper crops.