Tonyamell is an ode to Goa's tribal culture

Watch this video to find out how the Goa's tribal community celebrates Shigmo in its pure and original form

One of Goa's oldest and most popular folk dances, the Tonyamell, takes center stage during the festival of Shigmo. In the village of Barcem, tribal communities come alive for four days, showcasing this mesmerising tradition.

The dance revolves around wooden sticks called 'Tonyo' or 'Toni,' which hold deep significance. Handled with reverence, they never touch the ground or anyone's feet. Performed exclusively by men, the Tonyamell starts slow and gradually builds into an energetic display of footwork and synchronised movements.

Adorned in vibrant clothing and elaborate headpieces embellished with 'Amboli' flowers, the barefoot dancers showcase their talent throughout the four-day Shigmo celebrations. As they move from house to house, their performance is accompanied by a lively symphony of traditional instruments like the ghumat, shamel, tasha, cymbals, and gongs.

Witnessing these groups perform is a truly experience. The Tonyamell is a spectacle that not only entertains but also embodies the rich heritage and tribal traditions of Goa.

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