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Toka (Assamese : টকা) is a popular and easily available musical instrument used in Assamese folk Music. Toka is made of Bamboo, and bamboo being the most common produce of the forests of Assam, it is used abundantly by Assamese folk musicians. The primary beat of Bihu music was kept by clapping hands, which finally led to development of instruments like toka. Toka is one of the eight musical instruments used in Bihu. The toka used by Bodo tribe of Assam is known as ‘ Thorka’.
Assam is a state in northeastern India, situated south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km2 (30,285 sq mi). The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres (14 mi) strip of land that connects the state to the rest of India.
Bihu is a set of three important Assamese festivals in the Indian state of Assam—Rongali or Bohag Bihu observed in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January. The Rongali Bihu is the most important of the three, celebrating spring festival. The Bhogali Bihu or the Magh Bihu is a harvest festival, with community feasts. The Kongali Bihu or the Kati Bihu is the sombre, thrifty one reflecting a season of short supplies and is an animistic festival.
Dhol can refer to any one of a number of similar types of double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent. Its range of distribution in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan primarily includes northern areas such as the Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Kashmir, Sindh, Assam Valley, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Konkan, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The range stretches westward as far as eastern Afghanistan. A related instrument is the dholak or dholki.
The Bihu dance is an indigenous folk dance from the Indian state of Assam related to the Bihu festival and an important part of Assamese culture. Performed in a group, the Bihu dancers are usually young men and women, and the dancing style is characterized by brisk steps, and rapid hand movements. The traditional costume of dancers is colorful and centred round the red colour theme, signifying joy and vigour.
The music of Assam consists various genres of folk and modern music, drawing its artistic basis from the history of Assam, from Assamese culture and its ancient traditions. In recent times, starting from the late eighties, popular artistes have modernized the music catering to local popular demand.
Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of Assam. It is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as forms of preservation and those from the plains that provide fresh vegetables and an abundance of fish and meat. Both are centered on the main ingredient — rice. The confluence of varied cultural influences in the Assam Valley has led to the staggering variety and flavours in the Assamese food. It is characterised by the use of an extremely wide variety of plant as well as animal products, owing to their abundance in the region. It is a mixture of indigenous styles with considerable regional variations and some external influences.
Indian folk music is diverse because of India's vast cultural diversity. It has many forms including bhangra, lavani, dandiya, Sufi folk rock, and Rajasthani.
Bagurumba is a folk dance of indigenous Bodo tribe in Assam and Northeast India. It is a traditional dance which is traditionally inherent to one generation to another generations. The Bodo women perform the Bagurumba dance with their colourful dokhna, jwmgra (fasra) and aronai. The Bagurumba dance is accepted as main traditional dance of Bodo people. But there are some other important dances like- Bardwisikhla dance, Mwsaglangnai dance, Dahal-tungri sibnai dance, Sikri sikla dance, Daosri delai dance, Sa-gwlao mwsanai, Kopri sibnai mwsanai and so on. All these dances are known as Kristi dance. It is also accompanied by musical instruments like kham, sifung, jota, serja, and gongwna, tharkha.
The culture of Assam is traditionally a hybrid one, developed due to cultural assimilation of different ethno-cultural groups under various political-economic systems in different periods of history.
Khagen Mahanta was a singer and composer of folk and traditional music of Assam. Khagen Mahanta was a notable person in Assamese folk music and known as the "King of Bihu". His Bihu songs, Borgeet and other folk songs remain popular in Assam. The artist, along with his wife Archana Mahanta and son Angaraag Mahanta who is known as Papon, represent one of the most influential families in Assamese music. He died on 12 June 2014.
The gogona is a type of jaw harp, a vibrating reed instrument that is used primarily in the traditional Bihu music in Assam. It is made of a piece of bamboo/horn that has a bifurcation on one end. The solid end is gripped with the teeth and the free ends are then struck repeatedly with the fingers to emit the distinctive sound of the gogona. It was originally developed in ancient China(Kouxian) and passed on to the Sino-Tibetan tribes who migrated to Assam, chiefly the Sadiyal Kacharis(Chutias, Deoris, Sonowals).
The jaapi or japi is a traditional conical hat from Assam, India similar to the Asian conical hat which is made from tightly woven bamboo and/or cane and tokou paat a large, palm leaf. The word jaapi derives from jaap meaning a bundle of taku leaves. In the past, plain jaapi were used by ordinary people in Assam and by farmers for protection from the sun, while ornate jaapi were worn as a status symbol by Assamese royalty and nobility. Decorative sorudoi jaapi are made with intricate cloth designs that are integrated into the weaving.
Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu also called Xaat Bihu is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of Assam and other parts of northeastern India, and marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year. It usually falls in the 2nd week of April, historically signifying the time of harvest. This year it falls on 14th of April 2020 The holiday unites the different communities of Assam regardless of their backgrounds and promotes the celebration of diversity.
Magh Bihu (also called Bhogali Bihu or Maghar Domahi is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, North-East India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Magh. .A bonfire is lit for the ceremonial conclusion and prayer to the God of Fire. The festival is developed by the Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic and Indo-aryan cultures and festivals Magan of Kachari. The Festival has maximum indigenous Tribal Asian i.e. Sino-Tibetan and Austroasiatic and a bit of Indo-European essence due to variation of the Tribes found in Assam.
Jolpan, or snacks, are often served at breakfast in the Cuisine of Assam, although they may also be served at Bihu festivals or weddings. The word jolpan includes all the preparations namely jolpan, pitha, laru and tea. Other common jolpans served for breakfast may include roti, luchi, ghugni and sometimes paratha etc. Jolpan are also found in Bengal. The word literally derives from "water and betel leaf" but can mean any snack.
Xutuli is a musical instrument used during the Rongali Bihu festival in Assam, India. It can either be made from clay or the lower end of a bamboo tree which is left after the main part falls or is cut off. Detail about this musical instrument is available in xobdo.
The taal, manjira, jalra, or gini is a pair of clash cymbals, originating in the Indian subcontinent, which make high-pitched percussion sounds. In its simplest form, it consists of a pair of small hand cymbals. The word taal comes from the Sanskrit word Tālà, which literally means a clap. It is a part of Indian music and culture, used in various traditional customs e.g. Bihu music, Harinaam etc.It is a type of Ghana vadya.
Folk dances of Assam include the Bihu and the Bagurumba, the Bhortal, the Satriya and the Ojapali dance. Assam is home to many groups: Mongoloid, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian, Aryan, Rabha, Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Mising, Sonowal Kacharis, Mishimi and Tiwa (Lalung). These cultures come together to create an Assamese culture. Residents of the state of Assam are known as "Axomiya" (Assamese). Most tribes have their own language, although Assamese is the primary language of the state.
Manas Robin is an Assamese music director, musician, lyricist, filmmaker, bihu artist and music producer. He is one of the top musicians of Assam, India. He has consistently churn out chartbusters during the last ten years.
The Kamrupi people are an linguistic group that speak the Kamrupi dialects of Assamese and are found in the colonial Kamrup district region of Assam, India.
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