Bhotiya Folk Dance Gets GI Tag – Free PDF Download


  • Bhotia Dann (Hand-knotted Carpets) is a unique form of hand-knotted carpet, that is woven in the high altitude regions of the state of Uttarakhand, by the Bhotia tribe for their livelihood,
    particularly in the districts; Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar.

  • These are hand knotted carpets, made up of pure wool with the conventional design patterns, inspired by traditional Bhotia cultural themes which are very similar to old Tibetan carpets/rugs.
  • The designs mostly comprise geometric patterns, which gives them a unique and elegant appearance. The dyes used to colour the woolen threads are natural dyes prepared from plant extracts

  • The sheep that provide the wool, are reared by these tribes at high altitude. This results in high quality, long lasting, soft wool which provides suitable warmth.
  • These carpets are sold to locally to traders and residents, which provides limited economic returns to the craftsmen.
  • These hand knotted carpets are made up of pure wool and are highly durable with a shelf life of 20-40 years.
  • They are entirely hand woven, using traditional machines and tools, such as Local Charkhas, Bageshwari Charkhas, Kaanth, Panja and knife and loom mac

  • High mountainous regions of the State of Uttarakhand are blessed with rich traditional knowledge in art and culture which culminates into traditional handicraft products, using limited resources.
  • These Bhotia communities wish to safeguard the traditional heritage of art and craft while being able to secure economic benefits from the same.

  • The registration of Bhotia Dann as a Geographical Indication, would add on to its brand value and reputation, which would help in widening the consumer base and accruing better prices for it, consequently leading to improved socio-economic conditions of these communities.
  • The communities will also have enhanced prospects for trading Dann across borders

Proof of Origin

  • The Bhotia or Bhotiya are primarily shepherds. With a population of around 120,000 people, they live predominantly in the northern states of Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh,
  • Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • Their name, Bhotiya, derives from the word Bod which is the Classical Tibetan name for Tibet.

  • The Bhotia people of Uttarakhand are an ethno-linguistic group of people residing in the upper
  • Himalayan valleys of Kumaon and Garhwal division of Uttarakhand.
  • They once inhabited the border of India and Tibet, formerly known as the United Province, during British regime.
  • These include the Shaukas of Kumaon and Tolchhas and Marchhas of Garhwal.
  • They were nomadic pastoralists and traded wool and salt between Tibet and India.
  • Once the snow melted, large numbers of caravans of mules, yaks would travel into Tibet with Indian goods, in order to barter/ sell their goods for local Tibetan merchandise, which would in turn be sold in India.

Bhotia Dance

  • Bhotiya Dance is a custom and a ritual followed by the Bhotiya ethnic group
  • This dance form has been passed down from centuries and not a single step has been changed over the years.
  • It is one of the ancient dance forms present in India and is preserved according to the customs followed by the Bhotiya group.
  • According to the locals and legends, it is said that the people who have passed away in the Bhotiya region, their souls get trapped within the body of the goats and sheep present in the town. Performing this dance helps in liberating the souls of the Bhotiya tribe.
  • Typical traditional dance like “Dhurang” and “Dhuring” are the dance forms of the local Bhotiya tribes in Uttarakhand and is performed during the death ceremonies and funerals of the family member who have passed away.
  • This dance foration is very similar to that of the dance styles pmresent amongst the tribes in Himachal Pradesh and in Nagaland.


  • The Language of the Bhotiya people is called “Bhoti” or “Bhotia”, but is in fact a cover term for a wide variety of Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in India.
  • It is usually written in the Tibetan alphabet Bhoti and Bhotia is spoken in Himachal Pradesh Sikkim Uttarakhand Arunachal Pradesh Bhutan Nepal Tibet and parts of Pakistan and West Bengal


  • Bhotiya marriages are similar to Hindu weddings. When the bride’s palanquin arrives at her husband’s house, gods are worshipped and then she is admitted to the house.
  • Rice, silver or gold is put in the hands of bridegroom, which he passes on to the bride.
  • She places them in a winnowing fan and hands them as a present to the wife of the barber
  • This ceremony is known as Karj Bharna. A man may have not more than three wives. The first wife is the head wife, and she inherits an additional one tenth of the husband’s estate.

Geographical Indications in India

A Quick Recap

  • A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
  • Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.
  • The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generisAct for the protection of GI in India.
  • India, as a member of the WTO, enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement.

Q.Consider the following statements about Bhotia Dann :

  1. Bhotia Dannis a unique form of hand-knotted carpet, that is woven in Uttarakhand
  2. The sheep that provide the wool, are reared by these tribes at low altitude

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) Both 1 and 2 are correct

(b) 1 Only

(c) 2  only

(d) Both 1 and 2 are incorrect




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