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A YouTube Video : Kummi Dance of Tamil Nadu
Kummi is a folk dance, popular in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India, danced mostly by Tamil women in circle.
Dancing may be different. In some places, it is very simple, with rhythmic clapping or beating of the drums. 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 songs became a popular addition to Kuthiyottam festivities in modern times.
The word ‘Kummi’ has originated from the Tamil ‘Kommai’, meaning dance with clapping of hands and had originated at a time when instruments were not invented.
One village woman starts a popular song while others join in with singing and clapping to keep note of time. Songs are performed by the women dancing in circles. Men, when they join form the outer circle.
Kummi is a form of Koothu or dance in which many people gather together. It is a dance-form that comes into play forming a chorus in which many people swing in a circle, or stand on either side of the equator, clapping their hands to the music, waving their legs, hips, and head gracefully, and bending and straightening up together.
Kummi is very popular in rural Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Kummi is said to have been born from the art of cave.
One reply on “Kummi Dance : A folk dance of Tamil Nadu”
I did agricultural work in a few Tamil Nadu villages just south of Mayiladuthurai (called Mayuram in 1969-72, when I lived there). I saw the working women doing kommai/kummi dancing similar to the video you posted in the evening at the time rice was harvested. The dance was simpler than the one in your video and had gestures from their agriculture jobs. There was no recorded music, and there were no instruments. The songs were typically from cinema/movies, although I did record one about Kamaraj, a popular politician.