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Folk Dance & Folk Songs of Kodavas

Coorg a small district is famous for folk dance and songs. There are varieties of dance forms where people across the nation often visit Coorg to enjoy these folk dances that proudly present the local ethos and cultural richness. The Kodava community has retained its unique culture and maintained its identity and its distinctive way of life over many centuries.

Different forms of folk dance and folk songs are listed below:

Folk Dance


This dance form is performed by Kodava men dressed in all black with an oil lamp in the open field. The dancers hold chavri (yak fur) in one hand and the Kodava sword odi kathi in the other. The dance is performed on the rhythm provided by Dudi. These dances are performed to mark celebrations.


 This dance is performed by the Kodava women wearing the traditional Kodava dress with jewellery and kumkuma on their foreheads. The dance is performed in a circular motion with a swinging rhythm. The dancers hold brass cymbals in their hands. A woman holding a pot full of water is made to stand in the center to represent Mother Kaveri.


This is a religious dance form performed in temples. It is performed by the men of Kodava. It is performed with deer horns that signify the horns of the krishna mruga (a spotted deer in Kodava legend) with rhythmic tunes played on wind instruments and percussion.


This dance form is performed by men in temples where the dancers hold peacock feathers while performing.


This dance form is performed by men dressed in kodava attire. It is a kind of Sword fight where men hold the peechekathi and odikathi while they dance. This is usually performed during festivals.


This dance form is performed by men in the temple courtyards during festivals. The men hold whisks made of Chawri (Yak hair) while dancing.


This dance form is performed by men during festivals.


This dance form is performed by men during the puthari festival. Men wear traditional Kodava attire while performing this dance. Men hold the cane sticks and strike them as they dance to the beat of drums in a large circle around a milk oozing tree in the Mand (village Green).

Folk Songs


The men sing folk-songs called baalo paat while beating dudis (small drums), during occasions such as festivals, marriage and death ceremonies, and during temple festivals.

Few songs are documented as

Joova Paat  (Makkada Paat )

Batte Paat

Chaavu Paat

Polchi paat

Bisu Changrandhi (Admyar Ondh)

Bédha Changrandhi Baloo paat

Nari Mangala Paat

Uyya Paat


This is a folk song which is sung during Puthari and Bod namme, the words that are sung at the end of each line add to the lilt of the songs.