Famous Folk Dances of Assam: Folk dances of Assam, like any traditional art form, are symbolic of its people and their lives. Assam is a fascinating mash-up of various tribes and groupings of people, hence it has a variety of folk dances.
The rich, brilliant colors of the attire and songs that tell the lives of the inhabitants are nothing short of magnificent.
Assam is one of the seven sisters of the north-eastern states, and it is famed for its scenic beauty, wildlife, silk, and handicrafts, not to mention the tea that is so good that it may make you delirious. Assam has an unusual culture full of energy, and the state’s traditional dances are no exception. Grab a cup of Assamese tea and prepare to be amazed by the splendour of some of Assam’s most popular folk dances!
Congratulations to all those involved in the largest Bihu dance! https://t.co/HUuZqV8K5e
— Guinness World Records (@GWR) April 17, 2023
Famous Folk Dances of Assam:
Bihu is extremely important to everyone in Assam. It is more than just a festival. It’s a feeling. The celebration is massive. Bihu dancing is shown on television, on large stages, and even in little towns. During April and May, the colours are vibrant and magnificent, and the melody of traditional “Dhul,” “Pepah,” and “Gogona” radiates in all directions. Because there are numerous styles of Bihu, people wear somewhat different coloured “sador mekhela” depending on the location. Men wear “Phulam Gamusa”, a turban, a cotton or silk tunic, and a Dhoti.
Bagurumba is a group dance done by both married and single Bodo women. It’s known as the butterfly dance. It gets its name from the distinctive dance steps in which the dancing women hold on to their scarf with both hands and sway in synchronization. It is literally reminiscent of vibrant butterflies. The bright yellow outfit is worn in the traditional Bodo way and looks fantastic. Nature, birds, rivers moving, and other imagery come to mind when watching a Bagurumba dance. These are strongly close to nature and reflect the Bodo people’s humble, rural origins.
Jhumar is another prominent Assamese dance genre that is popular among the tea community, who dance to mark the event of their apparent liberation from work after a day of hard effort. It allows them to escape the monotony of their work. As a result, this dancing style is also known as Chah Baganar Jumur Nach. It is very popular at harvest festivals and other happy occasions. The dance is called Jhumar because of the bells worn around the ankles of the dancers, which generate the ‘jhumar’ sound.
Bhortal Dance originates in Assam’s Barpeta district and is based on Sankari culture. It is a very expressive and aggressive group dancing form that may be performed by both young and senior males.
During the performance, the dancers hold cymbals in their hands. Throughout the concert, they move quickly and change formations and arrangements. They also keep playing their cymbals rhythmically in time with the drum beats in the background.
Deodhani is a dance form associated with Manasa, the snake goddess. This dance is performed by a girl who is inspired to dance in a trance-like state to the beats of the Ciphung (flute) and the Kham (drum). At one point in the dance, she even takes a sword and a shield and performs a virile war dance in honour of numerous gods and goddesses such as Shiva and Lakshmi.
Classical Dance of Assam:
Bhaona – This dance form is mostly practised in Assam’s village Namghars and Satras to promote Vaishnavite culture. It is actually a theatrical adaptation of Sankardeva’s one-act play Ankiya Nat. The Sutradhara, who recites the slokas, sings, dances, and elaborates on the various stages of Bhaona, is an essential aspect of the performance.
The Natuwa or Cali dance is another style of dance included in Bhaona. One of the subgroups of this dance form is the Hajowaliya, which is essentially a female dance that combines Tandava and Lasya.
Oja Pali – Oja Pali is a type of classical dance that represents Assam’s rich culture and cultural heritage.
Satriya Nritya – Satriya dance is a well-known classical dance of Assam that was introduced by Srimanta Shankardev to spread Vaishnavism.