Orissa, the state of rich demonstrations of art and architecture in its temples and monuments, is one of the most preferred destinations of the Indian tourist. It can be easily said that the Arts and Crafts of Orissa, are, in fact hugely responsible for the large influx of tourists in this state of the country. The Performing Arts of Orissa and the Animal Mask Dance, in particular have gained huge popularity over the years with its uniqueness.
The Odissi dances are some of the most liked dance forms of India. The Animal Mask Dance is a peculiarly interesting dance form, involving dancers wearing masks of animals. Mostly prevalent in the village of southern Orissa, especially in Ganjam district, this form of dance is performed while the idols are taken out into the lanes, during the Thankurani Yatra. Also, the dancers perform in marriage processions. Two people fit themselves into a cane frame and camouflage as the respective animals. The legs of the men resemble the legs of the animals.
The Animal Mask Dance - Chaiti Ghoda Dance, common among the Kaibarta caste, is performed to appease the caste-deity - Vasuli Devi. Here, bamboo horse dancers along with a couple (Rauta and Raurani) and the piper and the drummer perform dances.
Watching the Animal Mask Dance forms can be really gripping while you are on your Tour to Orissa.