About the craft: Chau is an acrobatic mask dance form from Purulia district of West Bengal. Colourful masks, rhythmic drum beats, powerful acrobatic movements and somersaults are characteristics of the Purulia Chau. The traditional dance is performed at open spaces at the rhythm of various kinds of traditional musical instruments that include Dhol, Dhamsa, Charchari, Tikra and Nagara, Mahuri, Sanai and Flute. The stories are traditionally based on mythological tales. The dancers wear colourful masks representing particular gods, goddesses, demons, monsters and various animals such as lion, tiger, bear, monkey, etc. Chau Dance features on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.
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