Karma dance which is also popularly known as Karma Naachis performed by the tribes of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and other regions of the country. This tribal dance is performed during the autumnal festival of Karma Puja. The tribal group presents this folk dance in front of Karam tree that symbolises the KaramDevta. The members of the tribal group try to propitiate Karma Devta with the Karma tribal dance so that Karam, the God of Fate shower his blessings on them. The tribes believe that worshipping KaramDevta brings prosperity in their lives. Karma Devta is the reason behind their good and bad fate.
This Karma tribaldance is not only associated with the worship, but also has different forms in different regions of the country. In Madhya Pradesh, it is a traditional folk dance and is a part of their entertainment. One thing is common among all the forms are that they are centred around the trees.
Men and women dance to the tunes of the instruments like Thumki, Chhalla, Payri and Jhumki. The drum locally known as ‘timki’ is used as the main musical instrument and the dancers dance enthusiastically on the beats of timki. It is placed on the ground between the dancers. The dancers move their feet in perfect rhythm and in to and fro style. The men leap forward during the dance, whereas the women in the group bend low near the ground. They form a circle and put their arms around the waist of the next the dancer and continue dancing in a rhythmic manner.The dancers wear the ethnic costume and jewelleries. There are many sub-varieties of Karma dance that includes the Jhumar, Ektaria, Lahaki, Sirki and many more.