Mountains are home to several unique human cultures with distinct lifestyles. Life in the mountains is tough and takes a heavy toll on the hillfolk who inhabit the difficult terrain. For this reason worship, religion, social gatherings and fairs play an important part in the life of mountain dwelleINR
Corbett represents a synthesis of two such hill cultures – Kumaoni and Garhwali. In Kumaon and Garhwal, like in many other mountain cultures worldwide, music and dance is an important cultural element. These regions have distinct folk art forms that are woven in the texture of daily life.
The dances are either religious or recreational and most are performed in groups on community gatherings. Dances having a religious disposition revolve around Hindu deities like Shiva, Durga or Kali, and the Epics like Mahabharata. Others are performed for recreation at weddings, melas or harvest celebrations, describing folklore or romantic tales. The most popular dance forms are Dhol, Jhora, Chanchari, Chapeli, Devtali, Cholia, Kyunki, Jhumaila and Chunfula.
The music of the hills is equally enchanting. Apart from singing pahari music uses a variety of instruments like drums, traditional trumpets, flutes and bagpipes. Many traditional folk tunes have given rise to different ragas of the classical forms. The main forms are Neoli, Chaiti, Bairas Hurkiya-bol.
Songs used to invoke particular deities are sung by jagariyas, the perpetrators of this art, to bring divine benedictions and good luck to the household.
Ancient rock paintings have been found in the area, suggesting that the art runs far back in time.Wood carving is a unique craft of the region Perhaps it is from these that more evolved forms emanated. Alpana, the traditional painting, is a vibrant art form that involves painting of motifs on walls, doorways and floors, for decoration during festivals and worship. Alpana is made by women by hand using natural colours like ochre, rice flour, turmeric and vermilion.
Metalwork and stone sculpture were known in this region but the most visible form is woodcarving. Even today traditional Kumaoni houses have intricately carved doors, doorframes and wooden pillaINR