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

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Performing Arts


Based on a legend of an ancient king, his life story enacted by two virgin girls. Songs of Ghatu regarded as chants and sung by women and accompanied by madal.

Reasons for selection

Ghatu is one of the most ancient dance and music form (now almost extinct)of the Magar of Nepal.

Area where performed

Hills of Lumbini, Dhaulagiri, and Gandalei zones.

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

Ghatu is a performing art (now almost extinct)of Magar of eastern Nepal. It is performed from the full moon day of June. Two virgins perform the dance in trance. The songs are revered as chants. Singers are supposed not to miss a single word. The beat of the madal or drum is very slow. The dancers, the singers and the players keep fast on the days Ghatu is to be performed. To the accompaniment of the drum and as dictated by the song, the virgins enact the story by dancing. The story of Ghatu relates to the life of a famous King of bygone times. Settings of Ghatu are like acts in a play. The whole story is wound up within 30 days, full moon to full moon.

No recording and no pictures are permitted while it is being performed.

Publication and textual documentation

not yet available
no information at present

Audio documentation

not yet available
no information at present

Visual documentation

not yet available
no information at present

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

does not exist

Data provider

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