Music and Dance connect the tribal communities directly from the present through the past. It brings back remembrances of their folklore and ancestor's culture and heritage. Their communal emotions are best expressed through typical rhythms of music and dance.
Dance and music are the heart and soul of tribal culture. Distinct dance forms, attires and typical musical instruments depict the diversity of cultural panorama of tribal world in Odisha. On festive occasions, fairs and festivals, rites and rituals the tribal communities come alive with the drum beats and blow of trumpets. Their musical instruments are as specific as is their distinctive dance forms.
While some dance forms are known by specific names, e.g. Dhemsa, many dances are known by the name of the ethnic communities e.g. Koya dance. Dance forms may vary from occasion to occasion such as weapon dances, fertility dances, religious performance specific dances, initiation dances, propitiation dances, and hunting dances and community to community and each dance form decides the rhythm of the musical instruments. The musical instruments are also played for group and individual aesthetic purposes with or without accompaniment of dance. The playing of musical instruments breaks the monotony of life, brings people together and adds festive colours to their life.
Dance, music and orchestra are part of the intangible cultural heritage of tribal communities. Music and dance are often intimately related to the everyday life of the community and become markers of their identity. Largely seen as indigenous culture the dances influence the mental and social health of the communities.
Tribal dance needs to be preserved, through the typical musical instruments even in cases where tribes have been absorbed into other social structures, as a means of preserving cultural identity and a sense of historical continuity.