Sivasagar, Prangan Duarah: Without dance and song Indian festivals are incomplete. Including Bihu in Assam, arrival of spring leads to celebrate many Indian festivals in different regions. Rongali Bihu, the celebration of Assamese New Year witness an extremely energetic, active and an eye-catching dance performance which is followed by traditional folk song called “Bihu-Geet”. Both young men and women perform this joyous Bihu dance which is characterized by lively dance steps, flinging rapid hand movement, stylish footwork and a rhythmic swaying of the hips in order to represent youthful passion.
The origin of Bihu dance is still unrevealed. But the historian believed that around 1694, Ahom king Rudra Singha invited Bihu dancers to perform at the “Ranghar bakori” on the occation of Rongali Bihu. The form of group Bihu dance is generally called Husori in which males and females dancer take part. It is believed that the word “Husori” derived from the dimasa-kachari word “Hachari” in which “Ha” means land and “Char” means move over. Generally by playing “mohor xingor pepa” in the beginning a single player announced the beginning of husori. The vibrant sound of pepa sets the mood for the dance.
The Bihuwa deka, the musicians and the other male dancers enter the dancing area first, and they maintain their lines and follow synchronized patterns. Later male dancers break up their lines after entering the female dancers to mingle with them, who maintain their stricter formations and order of the dance. The dance is performed in accompaniment with traditional Bihu music. “Dhuliya”, the drummer who play a “dhol”, the twin-faced drum, is the most important musicians. There are usually more than one dhulia in a performance, and they play different rhythms and compositions at different sections of the performance.
Along with the “Dhul” and “Bihu-geet” some other instrument that accompany the Husori are taal, a type of clash cymbal; the gogona, a reed and bamboo instrument; the toka, a bamboo clapper; and the xutuli, a clay whistle and bamboo flute. There are many stages in female performed Bihu dance — freehand, twisting, with rhythm pepa blowing, with Kahi (disk), with Jaapi (Assamese headgear) etc. In villages Husori visit individual household of their village. With drum beat and sound of pepa husori announce their arrival at the gate. They perform bihu dance with their great zeal and energy. They are thanked by offering a dakshina of tamul paan (areka nut and betel leaf) in a xorai (brass dish with stand) at the end of the performance. the singers bless the household for the coming year at the end of Husori.
These type of culture and traditional festival shows how unique and rich our Assamese culture is. Nowadays, during Bohag Bihu Bihu competition organise all over the Assam. they conduct various competition including Husori competition, Bihu kuwari competition, mou-kuwori competition etc. no drought these competition attract lots of visitors but a quation arise in my mind that are we more focused on capturing that trophi and title rather than enjoying our joyous festival?