Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh is predominantly a tribal district located in the western part of MP. The district lies in between 21.300 – 23.550 N latitude and 73.300 – 75.010 E longitude. This region is bounded by Panchamahal and Baroda district of Gujarat and Dhulia district of Maharastra from west, Barwani district from south, Banswara district and Ratlam district from north and Dhar district from East. Narmada River is flow across the south boundary of area.
The total geographical area is 6782 Sq. kms which is about 1.53% of total area of state. The length of district from north to south is nearly 140 kms and width 60km south west.
Jhabua district derives its name after famous freedom booster Jhabbu-Naik, belong to Labana community.Nayak and his people rose in mutiny against Mughal emperor in 1605. Keshav Das, from Mughal side, led Mughal army and attacked Jhabbu Nayak's army, where Jhabbu got killed. Keshaw Das named this conquered territory as Jhabua.
There are 5 tehsils namely
(4) Meghnagar and
The name Alirajpur was coined by king Aanad for Ali-forest of the region
The hills covered with thick forests are confined to Alirajpur, Katthiwad, Mathawad, Bhabra, and Aamkhut region.
The study area has large population of tribals known as Adibasis, Girijan, Vanvasi, etc. They are of proto-Australian race. The major tribes inhibiting includes Bhil, Bhilala, Barelas, Patliyas and Naiks etc.
Bhils are fond of music and dance. They have their own self made musical instruments like Durbari (small dhol), Mandri (Medium dhol) Madal (large dhol) Dholki, Dhaphala, Thali, Flute, Jhanjhar, Ghunghru, pipudi, Ankle bells etc. Similarly they have their own folk song and dance forms which are performed during the occasion of marriage, child birth, festival, religious ceremony and others gathering.
Word “Charo” is used for dance in tribe. Its meaning is mimicry of various animals since these dance are inspire from animals.
The major dance forms are:
Morghi Charo (Cock Dance),
Khali Charo (Squirrel Dance),
Gho Charo (Lizard Dance),
Mandva Charo (Marriage Dance),
Sherdi Charo (Crop Dance),
Patedia Charo (Culinary Dance) and
Thabada Charo (Clap Dance).
Besides it some other form of dance are Nani alak, Moti alak, Kathio-Pichio Godhan, Gair dance, Neja and Gavri etc. Bhagoria is a most important color full dancing festival of Bhils. They fully enjoy this festival. Bhagoria festival is held on regular market days.
Bhagoria is held on open ground called hat where all tribals of area gathered and make dance with music and clouds of colors. In Bhagoria several groups moved down at hat with their musical instruments, ground full with dancing people beating drum and cymbals. Men wearing ghunghru (anklet bells) and holding stick to dance and beat. During the festival young boys follows the chosen girl. On getting suitable opportunity, he applies gulal on girls face, if the girl reciprocates the gesture by applying gulal on boys face, that is taken as acceptance of the proposal. After this marriage ceremony is performed.