Folk Arts


        'Holi' and 'Ganeshotsav' are the festivals from the real Konkan soil. The farmers here make them selves free from the work for those two festivals just following the rice plantation Lord Ganesh Chaturthi festival commences and when the reaping is over the next big festival scene arrives Shimagotsav / Shimaga / Holi. The traditional folk-arts of Konkan are associated with these two festivals.

        'Jakhadi' is a group folk-dance. In Ganeshotsav, every habitation (wadi) of every village has its own 'jakhadi' team. The same dance was previously known as 'Balya' dance. At the center there are instrumental with dholaki and ghungaru (both traditional instruments) and songs with a modern touch! Around them. We see the group of 8 dancers encircling the rhythmists with dance- That's Jakhadi! Now, Jakhadi has changed a lot. The contemporary Jakhadi has become speedy, colorful and trendy with the use of drapery, light-systems and or chestrization.

        But, Jakhadi is getting competition by the 'Bhajan' now-a-days from Ratnagiri to Goa. Even the art of Bhajan is getting a modern touch in Konkan. The Bhajan performance is an amazing combination of music and humor. The experience can not be put into words.

        Once the festival 'Dasara' is over the rhythm instrument 'Dholaki' gets jobless. It is back in action on 'Falgun Panchami'. The 'Shimagostvas' is especially for the village deities. Their palanquins and the palanquin-bearers become one when they dance together! They are called 'khele. 'Khele' and 'Naman' are the dance form from the same school of dancing. The 'Khele' vary from village to village in regards of the presentation and performing styles. The main characters are 'Sankasur' and 'Radhi' krishna. There are many other animals, God-Goddesses, demons, prophets etc. to accompany the main characters with their traditional wooden masks. Their appearance and dance-steps are something to just watch in person!

        'Dancing with the palanquin' is a special and unique type of dance available only in Konkan. Ratnagiri district specializes in this special type. In a nutshell, Holi and Ganeshotsav are the two festivals which are the holding forces for various Konkan folk arts like Jakhadi, Naman, Khele, Bhajan and palanquin dance. These are the cultural heritage of Konkan.