Majuli, Sonowal Kachari Tribe Culture

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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 .

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

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.

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

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.

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

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 .

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

 

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

 

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.

Sonowal Kachari Lady at handloom , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Lady at hand-loom , Majuli Island

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 .

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

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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