BAGURUMBA- ASSAM

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BAGURUMBA DANCE, ASSAM, INDIA

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Belonging to an Indian tribal community known as “Bodo” is a folk dance called as Bagurumba. This “indigenous” dance form has its origins in the northeast of India in the state of Assam, and has been basically passed on (among the Bodo tribe) from one generation to another. This dance form is mainly performed by women, and comprises of colourful costumes. In addition, it also consists of local musical instruments such as kham, sifung, jota, serja, gongwna, and tharkha. Furthermore, it is said that the essence of this folk dance was derived from “nature” since the Bodo tribe for thousands of years now have only lived in a green environment.

a. History/origin of the Bagurumba:

According to the cultural history of Assam, this dance form was first created about 1000 years ago by a tribe called Bodo in Assam. It was said that it was from a deep rooted passion for nature that this tribe developed this dance style. For example, there are several body movements involved in this dance that represents various key elements of the environment such as plants, animals, butterflies, flowing river, and wind. In addition, according to popular folklore this dance form is also said to have been blessed by a local powerful deity called “Bathou”.

b. Costumes used in the Bargurumba:

Mainly performed by women this dance form comprises of extremely “colourful and striking” costumes that include a dhokhna, jwmgra (fasra), and aronai.

c. Music involved in the Bagurumba:

The music involved in this dance form is extremely “energetic” and includes the use of local “Bodo” tribe instruments such as

  1. Siphung: It essentially is a flute made up of bamboo that comprises of five holes. Apparently, this flute produces notes lower than those made in North India.
  2. Serja: Essentially a bowed instrument possessing a circular resonant body.
  3. Tharkha: Basically a percussion instrument that is made from bamboo.
  4. Kham: Is a type of a drum (i.e. longitudinal).
  5. Khawang: Essentially comprises of a pair of cymbals joined together by a rope.

In addition, to the energetic music this dance style is also accompanied by a song whose lyric is as follows

“Jath nongabwla

Cool nongabwla

tabwrwm homnanwi-

bamnanwi lagwomwnka

hai lwgw lagwomwnka”

“Turi barinilai daosen

jwngni lagwalwi dajen”

d. Training availability and dance technique involved in Bagurumba:

In this female oriented dance, the dancers are arranged in a fixed formation wherein they dance energetically while also showing true feminine grace. In addition, this dance also involves the dancers creating an image of a “butterfly in flight” in complete unison with one another. As for training centres/schools there are none available for this dance form throughout the country, since it is essentially transferred from one generation to another among the Bodo tribal community as part of their tradition.

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