I am Master Ghulam Hussain Moore. People call me “More” Peacock, and that is my identity.
Master Ghulam Hussain, an artist from Jamshoro, Sindh Province, Pakistan, introduces himself in these words. He specializes in unique dance, the peacock dance.
He also performs in different types of classical dances ie Bharat Natyam, Kathak and Manipuri but he wanted to show something unique in his art and make his identity so he decided to learn peacock dance.
This was not an easy task for Master Ghulam Hussain. It took him a total of 35 years to make a name for himself in the dance world and to compose a detailed ‘peacock dance’. For this dance, they wear clothes made of 1300 feathers and do full make-up.
Master Ghulam Hussain said, “I advised my teacher that I have to do this dance. He said, ‘OK, you do this, son, but if you have to do this dance, look at the nature of the peacock.’
But he did not immediately follow the teacher’s advice. Four or five years passed before he danced the peacock, but he was not satisfied with his work. Eventually they raised peacocks in their home and began to reflect on their nature.
And then they started telling me in peacock style that ‘peacock has three tricks, there is a small peacock that runs fast. The larger peacock moves a little more moderately, and the heavier peacock moves the whole body with the whole wave.
Talking about the nature of male and female peacocks, he described all the ways of a peacock, how he walks, how he suddenly turns his head when he sees someone, how he sees spring, how he cleans his beak, how he waters. Drinks, dances to express happiness and raises feathers to dance.
On this, Ghulam Hussain said emotionally, “Obviously, when you become a peacock, the expression of a peacock does not come.” The time we wear a dress we say we are peacocks. Then Master Ghulam Hussain goes behind and the peacock comes forward.
In Pakistan, in general, both dance teachers and students are scarce, but male dancers are rare. I couldn’t help but wonder how life would have been for him if Master Ghulam Hussain had made dance his bed four decades ago.
Master Ghulam told me about this, ‘Look, there is no dancer in my family and we have no religious family. This was a hobby since childhood and I was 12 or 13 years old. You know the singers who come to Sindh at weddings, they also dance, their feet are curled up. Believe me, when I saw that curl, a strange thing would happen. ‘
‘My uncles used to have big oxen, at night they would take off the oxen and keep them. When I used to go to cut wood, I used to dance in the forest wearing it. One day a villager saw it, went to the house and told me, then I got a good beating.
Master Ghulam reveals his identity to Sindh. He is proud of Sindh’s culture and its historical heritage. Apart from the peacock dance, he has also done research on the sculpture Dancing Girl found at Indus Valley Solidarity’s Urban Center Moin Jo Daro in Larkana. She spent time in Moenjodaro, dressing up as a dancing girl. Wearing this dress, they dance in different cultural gatherings.
Master Ghulam Hussain, like many Pakistani artists, had to pay the price for his obsession. He not only listened to the people but also lived in poverty and misery for a long time. However, they are now invited to perform in government and non-government functions and receive a modest stipend from the Sindh government.
Seeing his passion for art and his passion for continuing it, I couldn’t help but wonder if he would pass on this artistic heritage to his children.
On this Master Ghulam Hussain began to say with pain and humility: ‘I did not teach this work to my children, because it is very painful, very painful. I have sacrificed a lot, I have sacrificed my mother, I have sacrificed my time, I have sacrificed my health. I just can’t explain because God has given me so much respect