Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Khattak dance (bangarah)

The dance of the Khattaks is usually referred to as a Khattak Dance, as it originally was performed by men of the Khattak Tribe only. This nomenclature is incorrect. Among the Khattak themselves it is known as the "bangarah". A "bangarah" is seen at its best when performed on a dark night with a large bonfire of logs and brushwood flaming in the centre of the dancers. The drummer is considered the most important factor in the success of the Khattak dance. The dancers resolve themselves into couples of sword-fighters. brandishing and twirling swords with a warrior's dexterity. Then the partners fall back into the general circle of dancers and whirl and spin about their bonfire. Sometimes as many as two hundred men participate in a performance.

Khattak Dance. Water colour painting of 1878 by Lt. Oswald Radford


Khattak dancers, c.1970