Puli Dance

Puli means Tiger in Telugu and Pulivesham is one of the most popular folk dance forms in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is quite popular among the followers of both Hinduism and Islam. The word Pulivesham literally means "Tiger Dance”. It is basically an open-air performance which is usually performed during the festival of Dussehra or Moharam in Andhra villages, and also during the festivals of local deities in North Coastal Andhra like 'Paidi Talli'.

There are no ritualistic implications, while people facing certain physical disabilities or diseases take a vow that they would be taking up the tiger's role in the ensuing festival if they are cured of the ailment. There is no specific costume worn by the dancer, while the body is painted with stripes to resemble a tiger. The face of the dancer is covered with a tiger mask. Two participants are seen in this dance where one is seen as a tiger and the other takes up the role of an archer. After a long duel, archer defeats the ferocious animal and emerges victorious.