The easternmost Sentinal, Assam state in India, is brimming with natural beauty, including lush tea plantation gardens, wild forests, and incredible archaeological sites. The hilltop Kamakhya temple, Peacock Island, silk bazaars, and the Brahmaputra river add to the state’s beauty.
Assam, one of the Seven Sister States, is a melting pot of different cultures. Assam is home to races ranging from Mongoloid to Indo-Burmese, Aryan to Indo-Iranian. Assamese or Asomiya are popular names for Assamese people. It is a place where Assamese is the primary language, but tribal people from the Bodo, Miri, Mishimi, Kachari, Karbi, and Rabha tribes communicate in their own languages.
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Assam is home to a variety of ethnic groups. Every indigenous community in Assam’s faith and ethos. As deities, they traditionally worship various gods and goddesses. Let us know about the religious beliefs of several tribes of Assam.
The Karbi, the indigenous tribes of Assam, regard the god Hemphu as their most revered deity. Apart from the deity Hemphu, the other two deities are Mukrang and Rasinja.
The Karbis mainly worship Rangker, Aarnam Kethe or Sojun, and Wolkete.
Bathou is the deity of the Bodo Tribe. Their religion is also called ‘Bathow’. ‘Ba’ means ‘five’ and ‘thow’ means ‘theory’. The Bodos worship the ‘Siju’ tree and they believe that the Siju tree represents the Bathau deity.
The Bodo community invokes the supreme Bodo deity Bathow Borai and eighteen other deities in a series of elaborate rituals to answer their problems and provide solutions. The sacred Shijou tree of the Bodos is at the heart of the puja setup.
Kherai puja is one of the most important religious festivals of the Bodo community, which is primarily found in Assam. It is a symbol of hope and desire that has persisted among them since the beginning of time.
The Dimasas consider themselves devout Hindus, though the majority of their rituals are infused with animism. They believe they are the descendants of Bangla Raja and the divine bird Aarikhidima. Their ancestral gods are said to be the’six sons’ of Bangla Raja and Aarikhidima, namely Sibrai, Doo Raja, Naikhu Raja, Waa Raja, Ganyung-Braiyung, and Hamiadao. They refer to those ancestral gods as Madai; the Madai are in charge of various parts of the Dimasa settlement and have their own areas of jurisdiction known as daikho (similar to sacred groves).
It is believed that the Madai, or spiritual being, who lives in a particular daikho protects and controls the people who live there. Once a year, the Dimasa worship the daikho. They do not have any image or idol representing the deity, but instead worship an earthen mound as the deity.
Mising are by nature spiritualists. They follow the Do-nyi (Sun)-Polo (Moon) cult, which literally translates as worshipping the Sun and the Moon. Many people believe that the sun and moon are the primary sources of energy for life.
The Rabhas’ main deity is known as Rishi. Rishi is a male deity who serves both the forest and village Rabhas. Mahakal is another name for him. In all important social and religious ceremonies, Forest Rabhas worship him.
‘Sonowal Kachari’ is one of the old indigenous tribes in Assam. Sonowal Kacharis are one of Assam’s Ancient Tribes. In terms of population, the Sonowal Kacharis are Assam’s third largest tribe.
As their deity, the Sonowal Kacharis have been worshipping ‘Khring Khring Baitho.’
The Deori people practice the indigenous faith. They revere their forefathers, Kundi-Mama, Boliya Baba (pisadema), and Tameshwari (pisasi). They also worship Hindu gods. Deoris are devout Christians. Deori people have worshipped God by singing hymns and holy songs since antiquity.