Sattriya dances have been performed for centuries in the monasteries called Sattras (monasteries of Assam) by male monks only as rituals and not as performing art. The dances follow the texts of Natyashastra and Subhankara's Srihastamuktavali. The hastas (hand gestures), shirokarma (head movements), padachari (foot movements), karnas (body postures) are characteristic of Sattriya dance. The music comprises of classical ragas (melodies), talas (rhythms) and traditional songs. The dance is accompanied by Khol (drum), Tal (a pair of cymbals), flute, violin and other musical instruments. The ornaments and costumes used in this dance form have a very distinct Assamese flavour.

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