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Sikkim Culture

Dances of Sikkim

Khang-chen-dzod-nga Dance

The two day festival of dance performed during the worship of snowy range of Kanchanjunga (Khang-chen-dzod-nga) is a dance peculiar to Sikkim alone. Kanchendzonga is portrayed as a fiery red - countenanced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding the mythical snow lion and holding aloft the banner of victory. Esoteric masks, flashing silks, opulent brocades and embroidered boots are the costumes of the dancers. The dancers are all male. This mask dance is termed as Singhi Dance i.e.,Lion Dance by Nepalese. They visualize the ferocious god of Kanchanjunga riding over a lion and hence call this dance as Singhi Dance.

Black Hat (Kali topi) Dance

On Lossoong, the Sikkimese New Year Day, Black Hat (kali topi) Dance demonstrating the triumph of good over evil is demonstrated. This masked dance is also performed by male dancers mostly the Lamas. The dance revives the old story which narrates that about twelve centuries ago King Land-Darma was slain for suppressing Buddhism in Tibet.

Other dances

These include 'Bara Singha Dance (the Stag dance) and Kankal Dance (the Skeleton Dance) and folk dances like, the Limbus celebrating a good harvest. There are some soft rhythm dances too in which women can participate. The Tamang (Dampu Dance) and Maruni dances (Nepali Dance) are such in which a couple wavering lighted tapers on their open palms participate. The Limbus perform the Dhol Dance after harvesting their paddy crop. Lepcha people also perform a group dance after harvests. The Lepcha folk dances are quite bristle and Gay. The Sikkim dances find their roots in the traditional culture seasonal cycles of this fabled Himalayan state.

Crafts of Sikkim

Woolen Carpets

They are hand woven with traditional Sikkimese motifs and unique designs and combinations of rich colours. They are in great demand in Sikkim and abroad. The handsome woolen texture is durable, plush and is dyed not with synthetic dyes but traditional vegetable Sikkimese dyes. The designs vary from sophisticated harmonizing tones to the brilliant rioting of vermilions against intense blues.

Choktse or Sikkimese Table

It is another exclusive product of the state. These foldable Choktse are prepared in varying designs and dimensions. 

Sikkimese hand made paper

It is another product which has a great demand both in and out of the state.

Miscellaneous crafts

The traditional Sikkimese weaves and woolen  blankets which can be designed into bags, shawls, jackets, opulent Sikkimese thankas (traditional tapestry ), leather works, dolls, variegated applique work, batiks, an exquisite selection  of dolls and a variety  of fashionable garments for modern people are the other specialties of the state.



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