Assam have mixed traditional culture because in the past it has various ethno cultural groups which includes the local elements in the Sanskritised forms. By the Kamarupa Kingdom, from nearly 700 years ago, the Assamese has been very much influenced. During the 13th Century, for more than 600 years, Assam’s culture is also influenced by Ahom dynasty. The culture is also influenced by the Western’s Assam Koch Kingdom ( 15th – 16th century AD) ; Central and South Assam’s Kachari Kingdom ( 12th – 18th Century ). Srimanta Sankerdeva ( Sonkordeu) and his disciples during the 15th Century started a religious movement known as Vaishanav Movement, paved way for another movement.
Social Customs and Traditions
Customs and Traditions play important role in all the societies of a particular group and they form base. The Earlier generations of Assam had widely accepted and strictly followed their customs and traditions. Assamese strictly follow their customs and traditions started by their ancestors related to their community. Assamese birth, weddings, festival and even death that includes various traditions and customs are supposed to be followed.
Bamboo culture is very much attached to the Assamese, especially Jaapi which is commonly known as the Sunshade of Assam. Bamboo or Jaapi are used to welcome guests by the Assamese. Jaapi is made up of strips of Bamboo and dried leaves of Palm which is known as “Tokow Pat”. Varieties of Jaapi are known as Halua Jaapi, Pitha Jaapi, Bordoriya Jaapi etc. Assamese used these Jaapi’s for female of nobles and Headwears by the rich families. Sometimes it is also used by the farmers in the paddy fields.
Arts and Crafts
Assam is known for its traditional crafts such as Bell and Brass Metal Crafts . Also Cane and Bamboo craft, silk and cotton weaving, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta work, wood craft, musical instruments and jewelry making etc are well known. Assam is also famous for ivory crafts, colors and paints, articles of lac, agar wood products and traditional building materials. Various ethno-cultural groups make different types of cotton based garments with unique embroidery designs and great color combinations.