Khuallam||'Dance of the Guests'

The Northeast Dialogue


Khuallam literary means 'Dance of the Guests'. It is a dance usually performed in the ceremony called 'Khuangchawi'. In order to claim a distinguished place in society and to have a place in paradise or Pialral one has to attain the coveted title of 'Thangchhuah'. There are two ways of attaining this title. 
Firstly one could attain the title Thangchhuah by proving one's mettle in war or in hunting by killing many animals which should include animals like barking, deer, wild boar, bear, wild gayal, viper, hawk, etc. 
Secondly one could also get the title of Thangchhuah by performing feats and dances. The ceremonies performed in the second method are known as Khuangchawi.
Guests invited from the other villages at the Khuangchawi ceremony enter the arena dancing Khuallam. Traditional hand-woven Mizo cloth known as Puandum is wrapped over the shoulders and the dance is performed by swaying the cloth. Puandum has the colors black, red, yellow, and green stripes. Significantly Puandum is an indispensable item that every girl has to take along with her when she gets married. It is used when her husband dies to cover the dead body. Like most other folk dances of the Mizos, this dance is accompanied by a set of gongs known as Darbu, and no song is sung. It is generally performed in large numbers.


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