Gond music

Rules about the Bana  (Hivale, S., 1946. The Pardhans of the Upper Narbada Valley, Bombay:  Oxford University Press)

  • The Pardhan is not allowed to take it to anybody’s house or play it anywhere except for a Gond.

  • The Bana actually belongs to the Gond and if he asks the Pardhan to play it he has to obey.

  • The Bana must always be kept in a cloth bag and in the main part of the house where the household gods live.

  • Every Dassera the Bana is worshipped with a red cock or a black chicken.  Once in every four or five years it is given a brown goat.

  •  A very old Bana is believed to have great and powerful gods living in it.

  • In the old days a Pardhan would not salute even a Brahmin if a Bana was hanging from his shoulder.  He would first put it down somewhere and then greet him.  “For he could not bend his head to anyone while Thakurdeo was on his shoulder.”

The sacred Bana fiddle of the Pardhan Gonds.

See this link here for the Bana fiddle:

The Bana fiddle is sacred to the Pardhan Gonds who believe it to be a manifestation of their deity Baradev.  

Discussion about the Bana  fiddle with Venkat Raman Singh Shyam and Rajendra Shyam.

See this link here for a discussion about the Bana fiddle with Pardhan Gond artists in UK:

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam and Rajendra Shyam are Pardhan Gond artists.  In their community, the Bana fiddle is a sacred manifestation of their deity, Baradev.  The two artists visited the United Kingdom in 2009 and this recording was made in Birmingham.

The Karma Dance performed by  Pardhan Gond artists.
See this link here for a video clip of the Pardhan Gond artists and their families performing the Karma Dance in Bhopal.

This video clip was filmed in 2007 on a building site in Bhopal. The Pardhan Gond artists wanted to celebrate the screening of the first Gond animation film, "Best of the Best" in Bhopal and it was an impromptu performance. The picture quality is a little poor, but it gives an idea of how the Karma dance is performed.

The Karma Dance of the Pardhan Gonds.

See this link here for the Karma dance song:


The Karma dance or Karma Naach is a tribal dance performed during the karma festival.  "Karma" means fate, and it is performed during the worship of the god of fate which is known as Karam Devta. People consider the god of fate as the cause of good and bad fortune.

Perhaps the Karma dance song could be a part of the soundtrack for the new Gond animation film.


  1. Perhaps the Gond artists have some more information on the Karma dance that they could put here? What do you think, can we include the Karma Dance in the animation film as it is so popular? What about getting all the birds of the forest in our story doing the Karma dance?

  2. Some anthropologist believe that”--Karam Devta" the god of power, youth and youthfulness instead of "Karma means fate, and it is performed during the worship of the god of fate which is known as Karam Devta. People consider the god of fate as the cause of good and bad fortune--" (Gond). You might have some other onsite/local references with you in support, I don't know, but: Karam - work/action (not fate/destiny).



  3. I got the information about Karam Devta/Karma dance from the internet, in relation to a clip showing the Karma dance. It maybe that this information is not correct. Perhaps one of the Gond artists can clarify the proper meaning of the Karma dance?

  4. Karma dance or Karma-naach Originated from Karam dev Pooja; its a story from myths, Gond people have lots of story, one of them Karam Dev, its actually for wealthiness; through this dance Pradhan-Gond people enjoy and share happiness with each other.every year after harvesting time. Pradhan-Gond doing Pooja of Wealthy goddess Laxmi (grains); actually Gond people worship Grains as Laxmi (Ann Mata or dai)so they dance and sing song for her highness, its Karma dance or Karma Naach or karma.

  5. Pardhan Gond Bana player Narayan Deen will be visiting the workshop. As yet, I do not know much about him, but he is 47 years old and is coming from remote Patangarh village, on the banks of the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh.