Barter system to come alive at Jonbeel Mela

Hectic preparations on at Jagiroad for the forthcoming mela to  start from January 21


JAGIROAD, Jan 12: Hectic preparations are on near the bank of Jonbeel lake here in Morigaon district for the forthcoming Jonbeel Mela, a festival, where people from the plains and the hills barter goods according to their needs, starting from January 21 to 23.

The three day long festival takes its me from the lake next to which it is celebrated, the ‘Jonbeel’.

“Here we can exchange our goods with those of the people from the plains. We bring spices, herbs, ginger, fruits to exchange them with rice, fish, cakes (pithas) and other stuff which we don’t grow in hills,” said a Karbi vendor who participated in the mela last year.

Mainly, people from the hills of Jaintia (Meghalaya) and Karbi Anglong (Assam) come to barter goods in the mela.

This fair is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagirroad where the ‘Gobharaja’, the king of the Tiwa tribe, along with his courtiers come to collects taxes from his subjects.

“The mela stands for harmony and brotherhood amongst various tribes and between the people of the hills and the plains. During the fair these communities perform their traditiol dances and organize cock fights, fish melas and wooden furniture bazar to attract customers from the plains. We take the taxes from them,” said an organizer of the mela.

Jursing Bordoloi, general secretary of mela organizing committee said that this year Gogharaja has invited 18 Tiwa Raja from middle Assam to the mela.

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Sentinel Assam