Distinction of Khattak Dance

Khatak dance is the traditional dance of Pukhtun community in Peshawar. There are twelve steps in this dance, and men perform this dance in groups, they dressed up in very colorful and bright colors that are the traditional costume. Glittering sword weaving in the air and moving on the drum beats and tunes on the surnai it is all about the Khattak dance. Flexible body movement and controlled footwork on fast drumbeats with fast swinging sword by  a group of people consisting of men of all age group all this make the khattak dance different from all the other dances of Pukhtons. Shalwar and a particular designed frock like kameez and a waistcoat with red embroidery and large decorative scarves that are tied around the waist and knotted around the neck is the special outfit for the Khattak dancers. Glittering sword makes the outfit more colorful and attractive, and makes the full dance very enchanting.

Performing khattank dance is not just an entertainment, the dance performer has to show his physical strength and he has to form it with the zeal of hero and his body movements shows his physical fitness. He has to hold one, two or sometime three swords at a time. The weight of each sword is about one and a half kilogram. Khattak dance is as old as the history of the tribe, almost going back to fourteen century. In the battle field the Khattak used to dance with sword it is like their warm up exercise for their rival tribes. But with the passing time this khattak dance became the part of their funfair that is given by the tribe as an extra sign of their unique identity.

The fast moving start and end of this dance make it different from the other folk dances like Atanr. Apart from Khattak dance all the other dances including Atanr start with slow tempo and gets fast slowly and becomes very fast in the end.