Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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Performing Arts


Children, youth, adults and aged alike gather in fairs and festivals, group together joining their hands in chainlike song and dance.

Reasons for selection

Deuda is the most popular song and dance of Mid-western and Far-western Hills of Nepal.

Area where performed

Hills of Mid-western and Far-western Nepal.

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

Deuda is the most popular dance and song form of Mid-western and Far-western Hills of Nepal. It is a way of celebrating a festival, making merry young boys and girls courting. Arm in arm, men and women sing and dance, on and on. The songs sometimes are questions and answers.

Known commonly as a Deuda, that is the style of stepping (one step forward half-step backward), the forms of Deuda vary from district to district, from village to village. Deuda songs are not generally accompanied by drums, flutes or other musical instruments.

There is no rules as to who and who may participate in Deuda. It is observed that a brother and a sister, or blood relatives do not participate at one group. Boys and girls between whom marriage is not permitted will not join the same group.

Deuda has its origin from the earliest times. The rhythm of Deuda remind a scholar of Vedic hymns. As a Rigvedic or Yajurvedic hymn is recited, Deuda songs are sung slowly, leisurely.

Publication and textual documentation

not yet available

Audio documentation

There have been a very few recordings of Deuda songs in Radio Nepal, but as they are unknown to the most listeners, cassettes are not available in the market.

Visual documentation

not yet available

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Our efforts of preserving Deuda or Nepali folk songs in general are at very early stage. We have not yet fully realised the importance of preserving our folk songs.

Data provider

Mr. Shrikrishna Gautam
Special Secretary
HMS/Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
Address: Tripuresevar Kathmandu, Nepal