DARLONG KHUAL LAM
BY. MALSAWMA DARLONG,
As many others tribal’s had their own way of welcoming their guest/visitor of their villages during the ancient time, the Darlong tribes also have their own way of welcoming system of their guest/visitors in their village. Khual, in Darlong language, means a guest, lam means Dance/dancing. So, Khuallam is the dance of the guest. The Darlong, in the pre-Christian days, believed that the soul, after death went either to 'Pialral' or paradise, or 'Mithi Khua', a land of sorrow and misery. To have a place in Paradise, one had to prove one's mettle either in war or in hunting or by being a man of distinction in society. To claim a distinguished place in society, one had to perform various ceremonies which included offering community feasts and dances. These ceremonies performed together, were known as 'Khuangchawi'. While performing Khuangchawi one was obliged to invite relatives from nearby villages. The guest entered the arena of the Khuangchawi dancing Khuallam- hence, Khuallam is the dance for the visitors or guests.
The dance is normally performed by men dressed in Puanvom (traditional Darlong clothes with red and green stripes) to the accompaniment of a set of gongs known as Darbu. A group dance, the more the merrier, they dance to the tune of gongs and drums.