Mostly this song and dance are performed at the end of a programme which interprets the battles and folk legends of Sindh. It is danced on the occasions of festivity and celebration. The main singer sings the verses praising Jamalo's bravery, and each verse is accompanied with shouts of "Ho Jamalo!" by the dancers, who go round the main singer, doing simple dance steps. The song picks up speed towards the end. Performances are said to be trance-inducing.
Jamalo Khoso Baloch was born in Sukkur, then in the Bombay Presidency of British-occupied India under the company rule of the British East India Company, but today in the Sindh Province of present-day Pakistan. He was sentenced to execution by hanging, by British East India Company officer John Jacob in Sukkur, probably in 1856, the year Jacob briefly became Acting Commissioner of Sindh before being deployed to Persia later the same year. Jamalo (as he is conventionally called) was held in jail near the Sukkur Bridge, which had recently been built for trains by the English, but was untested. The government of Sindh announced that whoever test-drove a train across the bridge would be given a prize. Jamalo sent a letter to Jacob, offering to perform the train crossing, on the condition that he be released from jail and his sentence if he crossed safely. He did cross safely, was freed, and was given a prize by the East India Company's governor of Sindh. His wife composed the "Ho Jamalo" song about his exploit, and it has since become famous in the region.[verification needed]