Folk and Traditional Dances of Assam

Traditional and Folk Dances of Assam
Bihu, Folk Dance of Assam
The Tea State of India, Assam is home to many unique people and each tribe of Assam has its own unique tradition marked by art, music, and dance. Following are some of the popular dance forms of Assam

Bihu is one of the most colorful dance forms of India. The Bihu dance is an integral part of three Bihu festivals: Bohag (or Rangoli) Bihu, Magh (or Bhogali) Bihu, and Kaati (or Kongali) Bihu.

The Bohag or Rangoli Bihu marks the Assamese New Year and the spring season. During Rangoli Bihu, farmers pray for a good harvesting season. Magh or Bhogali Bihu marks the end of the harvest season, and during this festival, people thanks for their good harvest. Last, Kaati or Kongali Bihu is not celebrated with usual pomp and show of other two festivals. It is organized on the last day of Ashwin month when new crops are not ready and old harvest is depleting. During Kangoli Bihu, the prayers are made for the good harvest in new season.

Similarly, Bihu can be classified as Moran Bihu, Deori Bihu, Mishing Bihu, Jeng Bihu, and Mukholi Bihu on the basis of community performing it.

Sattriya is one of the eight classic dance forms of India. It is a dance drama with origin in Krishna-centered Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam. Most of the stories are centered around the pairs of Radha-Krishna and Sita-Rama. It is recognized as the classical dance by Sangeet Natak Akademi in the year 2000.

Ojhapali and Deodhani Nritya
Ojhapali is one of the oldest dance forms in Assam. Here Ojha means "music" and pali means "leader of the dancing group". The dance is performed to offer prayer to Snake God Manas.

Ojhapali is followed by Deodhani (also spelled as Devdhani). The Deodhani dance cannot be performed without the former.

Bagurumba is a folk dance of the Bodo people of Assam. It is performed during Bwisagu festival, the mark of the Bodo people New Year.

Bhortal Dance
The Bhortal Dance is the innovation of the famous Sattriya dancer, Narahari Burha Bhakat. It is said to be the codification of famous Sattriya dance.

Jhumar Dance
Jhumar is the traditional dance of Assam associated with the Kulis (the tea collectors). The dance is performed during Autumn and open to anyone and everyone.

Pai Majai
Pai Majai is performed by Kacharis of Assam. It is performed to thank God for good harvest.

Other popular folk dance forms of Assam are Kahin Ghuruwa Nach, Bordoishikla (Bodo people), Domahi Kikang (Karbi tribe), Mishing Gumrak (Mishing people), Bisuyo Jama Dance (Deori tribe), Muchaglangnai Dance (Bodo), Langkhon Fuja Mishawa (Tiwa), Farkanti (Rabha), Hamzar (Rabha), Dhaowa (Rabha), Pangba, Kushan Dance, and Sutradhari Nach.

Also Read: Folk Dances of India
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