The culture in Purulia concentrates on the traditional folk dance 'Chau'. Popular among Santhals, Kumars, Mahatos, Kalindis and Sahish communities are the rare masked dancers of chau represent the essentially local culture. The use of beautiful masks and the exclusive style of dance, make-up and colourful costumes have made this dance popular all over the world. Many consider this form to be a kind of martial art because of the physical strength and agility involved in dancing. The Chau dance is an inseparable part of the rituals and the festivities of Purulia. Earlier the productions were primarily based on mythological stories from the Ramayana, the Puranas etc but presently contemporary issues like Santhal revolt, Kargil war etc are used as themes for the shows.
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