How Assam’s illustrators are framing the festive cheer of Bihu
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How Assam’s illustrators are framing the festive cheer of Bihu


Bihu could be cute too! Utilizing nostalgia as their information, illustrators in Assam recreate Bihu customs to strike a cheerful chord

When it’s time for Bohag or Rongali Bihu, Assam dons a festive look. The sound of the dhol (drum) and pepa (wind instrument) fills the air.

As households get busy getting ready pitha, nearly each purchasing dialogue is about contemporary til (sesame), gur (jaggery), good coconut and the very best quality of sticky rice. That is additionally the time of the 12 months when non-resident Assamese return to take part within the pageant, which transcends faith and ethnicity.

The pandemic has dampened spirits and unfold a veil of gloom on all festivities, together with Bihu. Undeterred, illustrators from Assam are compensating for the loss with illustrations fuelled by nostalgia. The illustrations additionally introduce kids to customs such because the presentation of the Bihuwan, a phenomenal handmade Assamese gamusa or a hand-stitched handkerchief to a secret admirer.

An ideal 10

Pankaj Saikia (@saikiapankaj1990), a Guwahati-based skilled illustrator, who created a ten-frame comedian titled ‘A Bohagi Story’, says his inspiration got here from what he missed whereas away from Assam. The self-taught illustrator desires his work to be a window to Assamese tradition, meals and traditions.

“My illustrations are based mostly on childhood recollections,” he says. “As a narrative teller, I wove a story round them. A few of my earlier illustrations on our tradition present the essence of pitha. Assamese pitha is dropping its id with experiments within the identify of fusion. I did ‘A Bohahi story’ as a result of I discover kids right now lacking the enjoyable round Bihu — there’s extra to it than new garments and a vacation.”

Spring in Assam brings a festive cheer, households getting ready pitha-pona, dance, music and household/social visits. The illustrations have gained constructive response and sparked discussions on tradition, nostalgia and tales round bihu-tolis (a spot for public gatherings for dance and music).

Drums of future

Illustrator Nilim Mahanta (@mahanta_livingart) from Lakhimpur, Assam, posted a cease movement animation of 100 frames. The animation has a dhulia (one who beats the dhol) creating stunning beats for a dancer. Nilim shares, “We took 4 days to finish it and the tip result’s fairly melodious. The dhulia is my buddy. We recorded the music first after which labored on the animation. Bihu is incomplete with out the dhol and there’s nothing extra nostalgic or melodious than the dhol to herald the arrival of spring or bohag.”

Most illustrators say they realised how a lot they miss the joyful buzz and commotion of Bihu when all of it went silent final 12 months. Individuals couldn’t cease watching YouTube movies of Bihu music movies and songs.

Flip the web page

Daakor boson, a web page on Instagram, has been actively documenting Assamese tradition and rituals.

Maitri Das, one of many founders, says although they’ve been round since 2019, the web page garnered lots of hits since final 12 months. “The Assamese ghost collection that bought us lots of followers. That’s once I realised there’s a lack of documentation of our tradition. As we began posting extra animated collection, the shares began to go up. We did a Bihu illustration in regards to the Bihuwan and for the teaser we highlighted the custom of husori (the place teams of kids bihu-dancers go to the neighbourhood).”

Amalendu Kaushik, additionally a founding father of Daakor Bason, maintains a private account for his illustrations on Instagram. “As Maitri and I began work, we realised many particulars of tradition had been lacking. Our purpose is to doc and produce about consciousness about Assamese tradition and traditions. Tradition is dynamic and we’re collective progress. It’s a should that illustrators push one another’s work and maintain the dialogue going. I’m planning to launch a collection showcasing some lesser-known tradition and traditions.”

Guwahati-based Tarique Aziz posted an illustration titled ‘Anuradha dances bihu’ as a part of the illustrations he did for Pratham books. “I adopted the storyline, however the inspiration was from my childhood. Bihu was all about visiting house, consuming do-it-yourself pithas and dancing, regardless of whether or not one may dance or not. The collection that I posted is in regards to the significance of Kapau phool (garland orchid). I might positively love mother and father to make use of our illustrations to speak about what it means to be in Assam throughout Bihu.”



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