Ghoomer is a true spirit of the vivacious culture of Rajasthan. It derived its name from the word ‘ghoomna’ which means ‘to spin’. Ghoomer is basically a dance performed by a majority of the Rajputs. Ghoomer originated from the Bhils who are the tribal people of Rajasthan. It is because the Bhils were allies with the Rajput royalty, the royal women of Jaipur adopted Ghoomer and performed it on all auspicious and festive occasions such as weddings and during Navaratri.
Ghoomer is performed by women in swirling robes which is accompanied by women singing together. They form circles, spin and dance. The grace of the rajasthani skirt (ghaghra) is so amazing that it flairs slowly while the women folk twirl in their circles with their faces covered with the help of the veil. While singing some songs, they have certain measured steps to various body inclinations, beating palms or snapping fingers at particular rhythms.
Ghoomer is broadly divided into two types–one which is performed by the non–tribal population of the urban areas while the other is prevalent among the tribal communities in the rural areas. Both of these forms are accompanied by the same musical instruments. These include the Dhol (drum), Jhalar (an idiophone), Algoza (a kind of double flute), Dholak, Nagara, bowl–shaped drums, Shehnai (the wind instrument) and harmonium.
Ghoomer is generally performed by women. This is well signified in the beautiful ghagra or the skirt which flows in a circular motion during the dance. Also, they wear a blouse along with a colourful dupatta that goes over the head. Since the costumes are so bright and colourful, women dancers wear nice traditional jewellery to go with the costume.