Skip to main content

Gotipua Dance of Odisha

India being the land of different cultures has let us celebrate different forms of art, dance, music and literature. Most people get attracted to dance and music because they don't have any language Barrier and easily be understood with universal body language. When we talk about classical dances from different states. It is usually the same narration of stories of God and Goddess but present in different ways. Dance like Kathak and Bharatnatyam both tell the stories of lord shiva but the attire and the way of dancing are far different from each other's.
In the same manner in Odisha We have odissi about classical dance. It is practiced by both men and women. Odissi initially started as a performing art in the temples of odisha and by women. Who were known as the Devdasi. These girls and women were married off to the deity of the temple and they became God's wife. They perform dance and music, worship the deities and do household work of the temple. They were given all the privileges by the royals for their services to God. They were also held an important position in the society back then but due to some mysterious reason the practice of Devdasi came to decline and they were replaced by the Gotipua.

In ancient times in Odisha boys who dress up as girls performing dance in the temple are known as Gotipua. Other than dance, worship, study in the Temple and they also performed the household duties of the Temple. They are given the same privileges and position as the Devdasi. Now the Gotipua live Gurukuls which are the house of their masters(teachers). They learn odissi dance and music and study as well but are demanding to present society. They also do other work outside being the dancers for the God and lead normal life as anybody else. They mainly perform in front of lord Jagannath during the month of June and July when a ritual event takes place in puri. In this event Lord Jagannath accompanied by their brother Bhalabhadra and Subhadra' idols are placed in the boat in their private pond. The Goti Puas perform their dance on the bank of the pond.

Other than that, the main events that need the display of our dance and music culture. Goti Pua performed at those events. But the question arises that in the society of Hinduism back then had degraded the work of women. Then how did society back then allow boys to cross dress as women and dance in the Temple?
The beginning of Gotipua is still unknown because this art form wasn't registered by the writers of the time but it was more of s passed down culture through verbal ethics.  Some of the debated Reasons why they initially started had led up too many theories. One of the reasons that is used as a surface knowledge is that when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was a religious pilgrim and disciple of lord Krishna came to Jagannath Temple in Puri he saw this devdas practices on going in the Temple. In Hinduism it is believed that during the menstruation period of the women. They are impure in this time Frame (just a myth). So, women are mostly forbidden from entering the Temple in their menstruations period because temples are the home of Gods symbolising the purity of the environment.
[Personally, I don't believe in this but it was something prevailing in ancient India and it is still believed in India]

According to this Reason Chaitanya Mahaprabhu proposed that Since for women it's a monthly thing and can't be avoided. He asked for a boy to turn into a Devdasi. They would dress alike, perform and do the rest of Devdasi's work like the women Devdasi does. Initially it was just one boy that's why they are named gotipua (goti means one and pua means boy in Odia) but as the time passed by few more boys were asked to join which they happily did. To this day it is like 5-12 boys in perform for a gotipua group dance.
Another story that isn't much talked about one because it showed the negative side of the Devdasi and royal society was one hail of a disturbance once. It is a passed down story which is more like a rumour or gossip was that the misuse of Devadasi by the royalties. It is belived that the royal like the kings and their official couldn't use the service of the prostitution openly in the society back then in Odisha and their only wives were the princess they can't get control over. So, they decided to introduce this practice Of the Devadasi system in the temples in the name of service for god to which nobody would deny to. The Devdasi would perform in the temples but also in front of kings and officials when they visit the temple. And later they were forced into satisfying the needs of the royal official and even the priests of the temple. Since the royal were involved in it remained as a confidential practice but sooner or later the people and other religious leaders came to know about it. Since they couldn't oppose the royal directly, they used the menstruation excuse to save the Devadasi women. This was something even royal can't fight against so they gave in and this led to decline of women to be rolled as Devdasi in temples. Instead boys were sent in as dancers to keep the culture of art of dance and music to continue in the temples. In this way it was a win-win situation for both women and the culture.

One another theory was that in a period of time in history male population once outnumbered the females due to the phatrichary systems. Which led to very few female dancers left in the villages. Due to which the males had to replace it for continuing the tradition which later turned into a speciality of odia classical dance.
No matter what has been the reason for the rise of Gotipua. It is something the Odia people are proud of. Gotipua significantly stands out the most in terms of ancient dance culture. When the rest of the world had degraded the women and their contribution to society. Somewhere in a small state of kalinga (now odisha) was busy setting up an example for destroying the stereotypical Definition of masculinity and their job profiles. It stands as a great example that no job or work in this world has a particular gender working for it. A man can do a woman's job and a woman can do a man's job unless We are biologically limited to. And in the end, all that matters is the effort you put into the work will always end up with a beautiful result.

-Durgesh Nandini Naik


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

श्री अरविंद महाविद्यालय (सांध्य) COMMERCIA का शानदार आयोजन

'COMMERCIA' और 'श्री अरविंद महाविद्यालय (सांध्य)' के स्वर्णिम इतिहास में 21 और 22 फरवरी 2020 को सुनहरे अक्षरों में लिखा जाएगा। पहली बार श्री अरविंद महाविद्यालय (सांध्य) की किसी सोसाइटी ने सांध्य इंटर कॉलेज फेस्ट का आयोजन किया और साथ ही COMMERCIA ने अपने आधार की मजबूती स्पष्ट करते हुए श्री अरविंद महाविद्यालय (सांध्य) की सबसे सक्रिय सोसायटी में अपना स्थान शीर्ष पर बनाये रखा।


While the human race is locked inside the house to fight COVID 19, a pandemic which held the entire world hostage in unprecedented and unparalleled manners, while one is even debarred to visit neighborhood milk booth and one is prohibited to cross over to another district in a same state, every piece of literary work is an expression of paranoia in one way or other. View of shillong from Shillong Peak Nation is facing most harsh form of lockdown, and consequent toll on human, psychological as well as physiological, is pushing to the limit of tolerance. At this crossroad in life, picturesque lush green meadow, hills covered with pine trees, fresh air and country roads driven me nostalgic and take me far away from new normal, every time I remembered of Shillong. ‘Scotland of India’ title it rightfully defended perched in East Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya, Shillong lies at north eastern corner on Indian Map. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. Entomology of the word Meghalaya stands

खुद को बनाएं भावनात्मक और शारीरिक रूप से मजबूत

आज की भागदौड़ वाली जिंदगी में लोगों के अपने लिए ही समय नहीं है। कामकाज में वे खुद पर ध्यान नहीं दे पाते हैं। वे कई तरहककी मुसीबत से गुजर रहे होते हैं। इस तरह की मुश्किल घड़ी में खुद को भावनात्मक और शारीरिक रूप से मजबूत बनाए रखना जरूरी है। इसके लिए आप खुद को उन सभी चीजों से दूर रखें जिनसे आपको परेशानी होती है। आप खुद को उन चीजों में व्यस्त रखें जिनसे आपको खुशी मिलती हो। अपने दिमाग को हमेशा शांत रखने की कोशिश करें। आपका मन शांत होगा तो आपकी सोचने की क्षमता बढ़ेगी। सकारात्मक बनने की कोशिश करें। सोचें कि मैं वो सब कर सकता हूं जो मुझे चाहिए। स्वयं से बात करने के लिए जागरूक रहें। खुद पर विश्वास रखिए। दूसरे के बारे में सोचकर परेशान ना हों। खुद से प्यार करना सीखिए। खुद की अहमियत को समझें जिससे आपका आत्मविश्वास बढ़ सकें। स्वयं से बातचीत करते वक्त भी जागरूक रहें। जितना हो सके अपने दिमाग का व्यायाम करें। खुद को फिट रखें। स्वस्त खाएं, स्वस्थ रहें। पॉजिटिव सोचके साथ किसी भी कीमत पर खुद को खुश रखिए। खुद को मजबूत कैसे बनाएं- • खुद के लिए खेद महसूस कर समय बर्बाद मत करें • बदलाव से शर्मींदगी महसूस ना कर