GUWAHATI: With the onset of Bihu, the indigenous people of the land are in high spirits. The Lok Sabha elections are also in the brink and campaigning are on in full swing, however, nothing can dither the fervor of the Rongali festival.
The most important part of Bihu is its cultural aspect with its music, dances, songs which are incomplete without traditional Assamese musical instruments. These instruments are made by bamboo craftsmen, who are already deeply engulfed in their handicraft.
A bamboo craftsman speaking to the Sentinel stated, “We make around 15 thousand japis annually, which is our traditional conical hat made from tightly woven bamboo. The dhol, considered to be the most important musical instrument of Assamese Folk culture, costs a minimum of Rs 2000 and can get as costly as the material demanded by the buyer. We have distributaries all over, where we sell pepa, made with the horn of a buffalo, gogona, which requires high level of workmanship, toka – the bamboo slapstick, xutuli - the instrument which looks like the half moon, believed to be existing since the time beyond history and imitates the sound of animals and birds, believed to invite rain, and many other instruments to every corner of Assam.”
The craftsmen further said that he is helped by his family members along with few hired help. He confessed that he is neither in profit nor at a loss at present but is hopeful of better sales in the coming days, till the onset of Rongali Bihu.
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