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Culture & Dances
Bihu is the most popular folk dance of Assam. Bihu dances are performed by young boys and girls during the Bihu festivities which represent youthful passion, reproductive urge and joy. The dances are accompanied by musical instruments like dhol (dholak), penpa, gagana, banhi (flute) etc.
The Gamocha is one of the most easily recognizable cultural symbols of the Assamese people besides the tamol-paan (areca nut & betel leaf) which is an integral part of almost all socio-religious ceremonies.
Satriya Nritya is the classic dance form of Assam which represents the Satriya culture, the basis of the religious and cultural fabric of Assam.
Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.
The most important Ahom festival which deserves mention is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi, i.e., the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January and helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery are also taken out on the occasion.
Symbolism is an important part of Assamese culture. Various elements are being used to represent beliefs, feelings, pride, identity, etc. Symbolism is an ancient cultural practice in Assam, which is still very important for the people. Tamulpan, Xorai and Gamosa are three important symbolic elements in Assamese culture.Tamulpan (the areca nut and betel leaves) or guapan (gua from kwa) are considered as the offers of devotion, respect and friendship. It is an ancient tradition and is being followed since time-immemorial with roots in the aboriginal Austroasiatic culture.
Assam has maintained a rich tradition of various traditional crafts for more than two thousand years. Presently, Cane and bamboo craft, bell metal and brass craft, silk and cotton weaving, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta work, wood craft, jewellery making, musical instruments making, etc. are remained as major traditions. Historically, Assam also excelled in making boats, traditional guns and gunpowder, colours and paints, articles of lac, traditional building materials, utilities from iron, etc.
Moreover, Assam possesses unique crafts of toy and mask making mostly concentrated in the Vaishnav Monasteries, pottery and terracotta work in Western Assam districts and wood craft, iron craft, jewellery, etc. in many places across the region. However we can see Assam populated because of these.