Raibenshe dance at Motijhil, Murshidabad during Murshidabad Heritage Festival 2023
Bambo sticks were one of the swords of the self defence before the discovery of fire arms

Raibenshe (Bengali: রায়বেঁশে), alternatively, Raibeshe (Bengali: রায়বেশে), is a genre of Bengali folk martial dance performed by male only.[1] This genre of dance was once very popular in West Bengal. Presently, it is performed mostly in Birbhum[2] Bardhaman and Murshidabad districts.


Traditionally, this dance involves vigorous and manly movements of the body along with the acrobatics of a raibansh (a long bamboo stick), from which its name originated.[3] During the performance, the performers enact the actions of drawing a bow, throwing a spear and waving a sword.[2] The performers wear a brass anklet (nupur) on their right ankle. This dance is accompanied by dhols (drums) and Kanshis (cymbals).[1] This dance was traditionally performed by Bagdi community, who worked as the bodyguards of the landlords in medieval Bengal.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Gupta, Shobhna (2002). Dances of India. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. p. 71. ISBN 81-241-0866-8.
  2. ^ a b Devi, Ragini (2002). Dance Dialects of India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 195. ISBN 81-208-0674-3.
  3. ^ a b "Raibenshe (Bengal)". India Heritage website. Retrieved 1 January 2011.