Taninthayi Township celebrates traditional tiger dance in Thingyan festival

Tiger dance NS
The traditional tiger dance is held in Thaninthayi township. photo: Nanthayi Htein win (iprd)

Taninthayi residents celebrated tiger dance (locally called Karakya dance) in downtown areas of Taninthayi Township on the morning of 10 April.
The tiger dance troupe consisting of U Kyaw Yi, U Aye Lwin (aka) Pyan Hlwa, four dancers, one hunter, ten tiger handlers, three drum players and four tray holders performed with the drumming rhythms at Chaungnge and Chaunggyi wards, including the villages of Taninthayi township, to collect cash contribution from the locals for the renovation of pagodas.
The Karakya dance (tiger dance) is annually held during the Thingyan period, and it was suspended in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Taninthayi residents donate cash by watching the tiger dance.
There are four or five tiger dancers in the Chaungnge ward while six in the Chaunggyi ward. When the tiger spirit inspires the tiger dancer’s mind, he is tied with a chain or tight rope around his waist, and another man carefully holds the string.
If the handler is weak, the dancer may be injured.
The dancer is also painted with a variety of colours on his body, and the hunter performs with the beat of drums to make the dancer feel like a tiger.
The Chaungnge tiger dance group received a K370,000 cash contribution and will donate it to the Arthawka Yama Monastery in Thepyu village of Theinkhun village-tract in Taninthayi Township to construct the Lawka Chantha Pagoda in the monastery precinct. — Nanthayi-Htein Win (IPRD)/GNLM

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