Mayurbhanj Chhau is a traditional dance form popular among indigenous communities living in and around Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. The dance is traditionally performed during Chaitra Sangkranti in April and other local festivals like Rajah Parab, Shivaratri, Kalipuja, Lakshmipuja etc. The vigorous and acrobatic movements done with props like swords and shields are known as Hatiyardhora while softer movements are known as Kalibhonga. The popular themes most of which are taken from mythological tales include Mahishashurmardini, Abhimanyu Badh, Krishnarjuna, Tandava Nritya, Raasleela, Shiva Parvati, Bhagirath etc. Another kind of performance depicts social life of the region and used to perform with Jhumur songs, another folk music form. Musicians play traditional music instruments Dhol, Dhamsa, Muhuri (Sehnai) during the performance. The dance form also got royal patronage during the rule of Ramchandra Bhanjdeo (1882 – 1912) in Baripada, a town in Mayurbhanj district in Odisha.

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There are around 222 teams among which only 100 - 120 teams are still practicing this traditional dance in the Mayurbhanj region. The teams mostly perform at the local festivals, however, few teams....

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This research project, Heritage Sensitive Intellectual Property and Marketing strategies: India (HIPAMS - INDIA), is funded by the British Academy's Sustainable Development Programme, supported under the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund 2018-2021.