FOLK DANCES OF INDIA – KUMMI
Kummi is a folk dance popular in Tamil Nadu and Kerala State in India, danced mostly by Tamil women in circle. Dancing may be different. In some places, it is very simple, with rhythmic clapping. In other places dancers imitate various harvesting activities. Kummi is often accompanied by songs, called “Kummi songs”. It is often danced during festivals. It is also danced by Tamils of Sri Lanka.
Kummi is one of the most important and ancient forms of village dances of Tamil Nadu Region. It originated when there were no musical instruments, with the participants clapping their hands to keep time. This is performed by women, and there are many varieties of Kummi, such as, Poonthatti Kummi, Deepa Kummi, Kulavai Kummi, Kadir Kummi, Mulaipari Kummi etc.
The women stand in a circle and dance clapping their hands rhythmically. One of the women leads the singing with a favourite song while the rest take up the refrain. Each performer renders a new line in turn and the dancing stops when all get tired. This Kummi dance is usually performed during temple festivals, Pongal, the harvest festival, family functions like the one to celebrate the new coming of age of the girl-child.