Sonowal Kachari Tribe of Majuli
Sonowal Kachari Tribe have its origin with Mongoloid features, they have no language of their own at present and speak Assamese language.They got the Sonowal name because they were experts in extracting gold dust from the rivers, they also have a good knowledge about the medicinal herbs and using them for many ailments .
Believe in supreme power of creator and spirits worshiping the ancestors and sacrificing the animals and birds to please them but accepted the Vaishnave Satras followings in 17th century which is against any such things, each village have a place of worship called the “Namghar”.
They believe that they were the descendants of great Bhaskar Varma, Narakasur, Ban, Bhagadutta, Hadimba, Ghototkach, Bhim, Prahlad and Bali . They worship lord Shiva and performs the Bhouwa dance in praise of Lord Shiva. This dance signifies the beginning of a new life, a clean society and the removing of bad omen.
Family and village elders are treated with respect, villagers believe in cooperation and extend help in agriculture and house making in exchange for food and drink.
Beetle nut and beetle leave are a part of their life and symbol of welcoming the guests at home, it is an important part of any ritual to include these, their villages are full of trees of beetle nut .
In their family system there are clans and sub clans, marriages are forbidden in same and brother clan, they follow monogamy but having more than one wife is not objected, widow marriage is allowed.
In marriage it is must to present a hand-loom to the girl, they wear colorful home weaved dresses, dhoti, kurta and Gamsha. They love rice based food with less spices.
Their main occupation is agriculture, dairy farming, poultry and hand-loom cotton and silk cloth, all ladies are expert in weaving .
Kacharis celebrate their festivals with great joy and enthusiasm there are three Bihu festivals, marriage, harvesting or any opportunity is enjoyed with dance.
One can reach Majuli from Jorhat by road to Nimatighat and then 1.30 hrs. ferry to cross the river Brahmaputra to Kamalabari ghat and the by Jeep / bus to Gramur , it is also a port of call for river cruise M. V. Mahabaahu .
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