Samai Dance of Goa – Exploring the Rich Heritage

Samai Dance of Goa

The mesmerizing images of the Samai dance performance will never leave your heart after witnessing it in person. The word samai means brass. It is called the Samai dance because men and women dance while brass lamps or Deepak are put on their heads.

The Samai dance is a traditional folk dance of Goa, a coastal state in western India. It is an integral part of Goan culture and has a rich history dating back several centuries. The dance is typically performed during religious festivals and special occasions, showcasing the vibrant heritage of the goa people

The Origin of Samai Dance

The origins of Samai dance can be traced to the influence of the Portuguese colonial era in Goa. During the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in Goa and brought with them their own cultural traditions and dances. Over time, these dances merged with the local Goan traditions, resulting in the birth of unique dance forms like Samai.

Samai dance is characterized by its energetic and rhythmic movements, accompanied by lively music. It is usually performed by a group of both male and female dancers, who wear colorful traditional attire. The dancers form a circle or a semi-circle, holding hands or linking arms, and move in synchronized steps to the beat of the music.

Samai Dance Occasion

The folks perform this dance before Holi. The villagers provide prayers ahead of the Tusli for a few days. This continues till Holi. Even though the purpose of this dance is to enjoy and relax, its roots are religious. The Samai dance is also performed during the Shigmo festival in Goa.

Costume of Samai Folk Dance

During the Samai dance, the women wear red color sarees and the men wear yellow kurtas with purple pajamas. The men have a head ribbon tied to their heads while participating in the lamp dance. Women wear gajra in their hair beside different ancient jewellery like bangles, bindi, earrings, nose pins, and necklaces.

The brass lamp employed in the Samayi dance is one foot long with burning wicks that dancers got to balance whereas terpsichore. Initially, solely men accustomed perform this dance however ladies are taking part in it for a few years.

Samai Dance Performance

Mahesh Gawade, who has been awakening this dance in Goa for many years, says that on this occasion special worship of Lord Guru is performed.

In this, male and female folk dancers perform this dance fiercely. Obviously, despite being full of fun and entertainment, the basis of this dance is spirituality. Earlier this dance was performed only by men, but after about 15 years women were also included in this dance. Now, this dance is performed by 9 to 11 male and female dancers together.

It consists of lackadaisical dance movements as dancers got to balance lamps on their heads. This dance needs loads of followers as a result of a dancer can’t let the lamp fall whereas terpsichore. Dancers dance to traditional folk songs while performing beautiful moves.

Musical Instruments Used in Samai

The important instruments used in samai dance are Harmonium, Shehnai, Ghumat, Samel, Surt, and Zanj. Other names for the Samai dance are the Samayi dance, Lamp dance, and Divlyanchi dance.


In conclusion, the Samai Dance of Goa is a vibrant and captivating traditional dance form that holds deep cultural significance. It is characterized by its energetic movements, colorful costumes, and rhythmic music, creating an enchanting spectacle for both locals and visitors. Through its graceful and synchronized choreography, the Samai Dance preserves and celebrates the rich heritage of Goa, showcasing the region’s traditions and bringing communities together in joyous celebration.


Q: What is the Samai Dance of Goa?

A: Samai Dance is a traditional folk dance form that originated in the state of Goa, India. It is characterized by its vibrant and rhythmic movements, accompanied by lively music and energetic performances.

Q: What is the significance of Samai Dance?

A: This Dance holds cultural and historical significance in Goa. It is performed during religious festivals, weddings, and other festive occasions. The dance form is considered a way to celebrate and express joy, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Goa.

Q: How is Samai Folk Dance performed?

A: This Dance involves a group of dancers forming a circular or semi-circular formation. The performers move in synchronized steps, often accompanied by clapping, singing, and traditional musical instruments like the dhol, cymbals, and flutes. The dance is characterized by quick footwork, graceful hand movements, and energetic leaps.

Q: What is the costume worn in Samai Dance?

A: The dancers performing this Dance usually wear colorful traditional attire. Men typically wear a kurta, dhoti, and a colorful turban, while women adorn themselves in vibrant sarees or lehengas with traditional jewelry and accessories.

Q: Is Samai Dance performed by both men and women?

A: Yes, It is performed by both men and women. The dance form emphasizes the coordination and synchronization between male and female dancers, creating a visually captivating and harmonious performance.

Q: Can anyone learn Samai Dance?

A: Yes, anyone with an interest in traditional dance and a willingness to learn can try their hand at Dance. Many cultural organizations and dance schools in Goa offer classes and workshops for enthusiasts to learn and appreciate this beautiful folk dance form.

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