The Cheraw dance is a famous dance of Mizoram in India that is performed by six to eight members who hold pairs of bamboo staves on one another in a horizontal mode. The male members hold the bamboos and clap rhythmically and the female dancers groove to the rhythm produced by the beating of bamboo sticks. This is a very popular and intricate dance of Mizoram. During festivals, the Cheraw dance is a unique dance that is both a traditional and cultural dance form. It is considered as the center of attraction there are a few dances which are the same as a few dances in the Far East and the Philippines. Tinkling is similar to the Cheraw dance which is famous in the Philippines. A large number of Cheraw dancers danced together and set a Guinness world record in 2010.
The dance features the bamboo staves held by the male dancers who move the staves in a rhythm and the female dancers’ step in and out of the bamboo blocks. This dance is ancient and is an integral part of all the festivals of Mizoram.
In the 1st century AD, the Cheraw dance was originated. The dance was named as Bamboo dance as long bamboo are used for this dance. This was used to be performed as a ritual so that the soul of the deceased mother who passed on her newborn child gets solace. Now the Cheraw dance’s horizons have been extended. This dance is performed on the Mizo of Mizoram on each and every occasion.
The movements of the Cheraw dance are inspired by nature. The expressions of Cheraw dance are similar to the swaying of trees, the flying of birds, and the harvesting of ripened paddy. The most enchanting form of Mizoram culture is the Cheraw dance. The bamboos are rhythmically clapped according to a beat by the male dancers. The dancers move stepping between and across the horizontal pair of bamboos. The people sit facing each other holding and tapping the bamboo staves. The timing and rhythm is produced by tapping the bamboos the dancers hop in and out of the maze of bamboos along with moving their arms in swinging motion with ease and grace.
The practice of Cheraw is done with the help of accordion, mandolin, and guitar in non-traditional clothes nowadays.
The costumes worn by the performers are vakiraia (female headdress made of bamboo with feathers, beetles wings, and colorful objects.
Kawrchei – White red green black blouse along with Puanchei – White red green black sarong.
Men wear a Khumbeu – Bamboo hat and a Mizo shawl
All these traditional costumes of Cheraw Dance come in vibrant colors that further brighten up the surrounding environment.