Koli is a very traditional folk dance form from the state of Maharashtra, India. The term Koli refers to the group or community of people from the coastal areas of Maharashtra and their main business is fishing. This dance style is very popular and known for its ethnicity and tradition.
Koli is a very lively and colorful dance form and is performed by both men and women in groups. The songs usually represent their daily routine, their tradition and sea and fishing. Men hold the most important equipment of the fishermen, the oar, which they move as if they are rowing their boats while dancing. On the other hand, women hold a basket for carrying fish. The dancers move in such a form that it pictures the movement of boat in the sea. They dance in formations that signify various aspects of their everyday life like the boat, waves, sea, rowing of the boat, catching fish and so on. The life of the fisherman folks is not easy and dance is their way to relax, have fun and entertainment.
Their costumes are also very different. Women wear a traditional saree tied in a typical manner. Men wear a piece of cloth around their waist called lungi which is triangular in shape.
Maharashtra has got a vast coastal line and the coastal folk greatly depend upon the nature. Hence, their life is pretty insecured.
The fisherman rowing his boat in the orating ocean is in reality a brave person. Every moment of his life is full of risk. After collecting the fish necessary for his daily livelihood he returns. Due to the uncertain future when he returns, he viles away his time by singing and dancing. This gives him intense joy. This rhythmic dance stimulates the fury of the nature.
He considers himself as the part of thunderstorm and sings and dances vigorously. The male wears a short colorful triangular cloth around the waist with a half jacket and scarf around the neck And a colorful conical cap. The female folks wear nine-yard sari with a choli. They put on colorful flowers in their hair. The Koli Nritya creates hypnotizing impact on the audiences.