Gomira dance is a rural dance form mainly practiced in the Dinajpur district of West Bengal. The dance is usually performed by the villagers to please the gods to usher in the ‘good forces’ and ward off the ‘evil forces’. Very obviously, this dance form is a part of varying traditions and the rich cultural history of Bengal.
Gomira dance is actually a masked dance form. The word Gomira has been derived from the colloquial form of the word “Gram-Chandi” or the female deity who is the protective force of the village. The exact origin of the dance form is not traceable and is lost in the realms of time. Another section believes that the word “Gomira” has been derived from the word ‘Gamar’, the wood that is mainly used to make the masks. The Gomira masks or “Mukha” are thus inexorably linked with the Gomira dance festival.
The Gomira dance is mainly celebrated during the Bengali months of Baisakh-Jaishtya and Asarh corresponding to the English months between mid-April to mid-July. This is the harvest season for the villages. The dance is also performed during the period of harvesting of mangoes when the puja of Amat-Kali is celebrated. This is usually during the period of Jaishtya.
The dance has been evolved into mainly two forms – the Gomira form and the Ram-Vanvas Form. The Gomira form is the traditional form with the characters of Bura-Buri (Old man- Old woman), Smasan Kali, Masan Kali, DakiniBishwal, SigniBishwal, Bagh (Tiger), Nar-Rakshas and Narsingha Avatar. The Ram-Vanvas form depicts the Van Kanda of Ramayana.
Traditionally, the dance starts with the entry of two characters Buro-Buri, who are actually said to be the human forms of Shiva and Parvati. After their performance, other masked dancers enter their arena to perform. According to the Gomira tradition, these gods took human shape and descended on earth so that they may bless the humans and help them to fight the forces of evil and establish a righteous way of life.
About Nilanjan Ray
NILANJAN RAY (b. 1959) has a handful of exposed stock on “HUMAN INTEREST” and keeps stock of other people’s money in a Bank since it is his profession.
Has received wide appreciation Internationally as well as Nationally. Has received Merit Prize from National Geographic, USA & National Award from Photo Division, Govt. of India.
Solo Photography Exhibition on ‘VARANASI – AN ETERNAL CITY’ organized by OXFORD BOOKSTORE, Kolkata, NATIONAL CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, (NCPA), Mumbai and INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE (IIC), New Delhi.
Solo Photography Exhibition on “FAITH – A QUAINT EMOTIONS” was organized by INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTER, NEW DELHI from 29th Novemvber,2016 to 9th December,2016.
Other than above, my photographs are selected for exhibition at British Council, UNICEF, ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, Calcutta, LALIT KALA ACADEMY, New Delhi etc.
Photographs are also selected for a Book” Framed City” – published at Indian Art Festival, New Delhi.
Photographs are also selected for a Book “INDIA- 5 Senses “by Roli Books.
Photographs & Articles are published regularly in leading daily Newspapers and Magazines.
Received letter of appreciation from Maitre Henri Cartier-Bresson. Paris.
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