Folk dances (vallet) have been and still are part of Puka traditional culture. Puka district witnesses a diversified pattern of folk dances, but let’s consider some of the most popular ones.
-Kabashi Folk Dance (Vallja e Kabashit)
This folk dance is just played by 4 men who form a closed circle. These four dancers, according to oral tradition, represent Kabashi kinsfolks’ brothers, namely Qafaliaj, Kokaj, Lushaj, and Hadri. Their actions reveal strong and striking dynamic movements. This folk dance involves three main moments:
– Spreading the arms sideways, feet striking on the ground, and dancing around in an open circle, rather than in one spot.
This dance is accompanied solely by a drum (bass drum or tupan). It is still danced at wedding parties and concerts, at religious holidays, and at festivities. It is danced mainly in the villages of Kabash, Qerret, Puka, Rrape.
-Local Folk Dance (Valle Vendi)
This dance is commonly known all over the district. It is danced by women and men. It features simple movements. Dancers perform freely as desired, dressed in typical costumes of different provinces. Musical accompaniment goes gently with çifteli (a two-stringed musical instrument), flute, and tin whistle.
-Bird Folk Dance (Vallja e Zogut)
This is a very early folk dance. It was born from a traditional story:
-An old man was playing the çifteli under a tree shadow. He began to mimic the nightingale song and the birds began to flit about in the tree branches. This scene flashed across his mind and so he carved two beautiful birds in the wood and strung them around his finger. Birds started dancing in time to the music.
This is how the birds dance, which was originally danced in Iballa area, made its way. It is danced by boys and girls in pairs, who mimic the bird’s movements, dancing on one foot, exchanged by the other to the beat. Once the music is in full swing and all musical instruments are in harmony, dancers circle around several times. At a given point, the boy sits on one knee, while the girl circles around him dancing.
-Besa Folk Dance (Vallja e Besës)
It is an epic men’s folk dance. This dance reveals dynamic, heavily accented, fierce movements. While dancing dancers touch the ground, swearing that ‘we are the masters of this land. Other movements revolve around ‘pledging of honor (Besa), defending our own land – the homeland of our ancestors.