Chhau dance

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thumb|A video of Chau dance in PuruliaChhau dance () is a genre of Indian tribal martial dance whose origin is attributed to Mayurbhanj, an erstwhile princely state of Orissa which is popular in the Indian states of Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. There are three subgenres of the dance, based on its places of origin and development, Seraikella Chhau, Mayurbhanj Chhau and Purulia Chhau.Claus, p. 109

Seraikella Chhau was developed in Seraikela, the present day administrative headquarters of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, Purulia Chau was developed in Purulia district of West Bengal and Mayurbhanj Chhau was developed in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa. The most prominent difference among the three subgenres is in the use of mask. While, the Seraikela and Purulia subgenres of Chhau use masks, the Mayurbhanj Chhau uses none.Claus, p. 110

Etymology

It is believed by some modern scholars that, the word Chhau, is derived from Sanskrit Chāya (shadow, image or mask), but according to Sitakant Mahapatra, it is derived from Chhauni (military camp)..

Purulia Chhau

The subgenre of Chhau performed in Purulia district and Jhargram subdivision of Paschim Medinipur District in West Bengal state, is referred to as the Purulia Chhau. It has a distinctive character of its own. It has received international acclaim and scaled rare heights of beauty...
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