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Chaitighoda Nacha (Horse dance in the month of Chitra): This folk items is connected with the Sakti cult of coastal Odisha confined to the people of Kaibarta caste only. This festival is observed by the Kaibartas in the month of Chaitra from the fool moon day to eight day of Vaisakha in honour of their caste deity Vasuli devi. A horse ridden man with the head of a horse well-dressed and trunk built of bamboo, dances to the tune of Dhola and Mahuriaccompanied by songs composed by the local poets. The dancing party consists of two dancers, one male and one female, a drumer and a piper. The Kaibarta song of Achutananda Das, (one of the poets of Pancha Sakha group flourished in the sixteenth century) is believed to be only religious text of the Kaibartas. The origin of this dance goes back to the hoary past. The Goddess Vasuli is held very high among the Kaibartas. Here it may be mentioned that the Goddess has a wide distribution in Odisha, but is considered to be the oldest in Puri where Raja of Puri provided land grants for regular worship of the deity. Vasuli in many places is taken to be one of the manifestations of the Durga and one of sixty-four Yoginis. The horse dance is very popular and attracts a large audience. The performing group consists of three main characters- Rauta, Rautani and the Horse dancer, besides the drummer and the piper. The songs recited in the performace consists of the episode from mythology. Rautani is Rauta’s Co-dancer and Co-singer.
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