Fugdi folk dance is mainly the dance of the Konkan women of Goa. Only women participate in this dance. This dance is performed during festivals and religious activities.
It is also performed during the harvest season when the women gather at their leisure. This dance also represents the women’s break from their daily work. They dance for entertainment and to enjoy a little break from their daily work like fetching water from the river.
History of Fugdi Folk Dance
There is no evidence showing where and when this dance originated. Our hypothesis is that when women traveled long distances to fetch water, they would come out with something to entertain themselves and this became a kalshi fugdi folk dance.
In the village, the elders ask the women never to keep the jug empty. The story behind it is that Goddess Laxmi visits every house after completing her daily chores and drinks water from the pitcher. If the jug is empty, the goddess will not be able to quench her thirst.
The main prop used in this dance is a Kalshi or water jug. It has a special meaning in the life of the women of the village as they use it daily for almost all household chores. Fetching water and then cooking, cleaning and watering the plants with it is their daily routine.
The women begin this dance by lighting a Diya in front of the Tulsi factory. They ask the deities to bless the place. In the songs used in the Fugdi dance, the women sing of deities bringing them saris, jewellery, flowers and bracelets in their blessings. The deities also bless them with a happy reunion with their husbands.
The dance consists of daily movement steps such as cleaning the house, washing clothes, etc. The women dance by holding hands and moving in a circular motion. The women also beat their bracelets against copper pots while dancing. In Konkani, these pots are known as “Kalshi”. The Kalsi or Water Pitcher symbolizes the belly and blowing it means giving it life.
Fugdi folk dance costume
Hindu women wear colorful sarees while Christian women wear red checkered sarees with a bow on their right shoulder. They also tie a white dupatta around their waist. Women did not change into special clothes to perform this dance initially. They used their work clothes. Nowadays they use special clothes for the Fugdi dance.
Music and Instruments
The dance does not involve any instrument. There is only music and songs sung by dancers during their performances. During the dance, women make special noises such as foo, fu. These noises come out automatically when the dancers blow into the water pitchers. This is the reason why the dance is called Fugdi.
The dance begins with slow movements that speed up as the performance continues.
Katti fugdi is another form of fudgi dance in which women dance with coconut shells in their hands. There are 27 known forms of fugdi dance. Some are Girki, Rahat, Zimma, Cycle, Karvar, Kombda, Ghuma, Bus Fugdi and Pakhwa.