Folk Dance & Music in Assam

Assam is home to several groups and tribes like Mongoloid, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian, Aryan, Rabha, Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Mising, Sonowal Kacharis and Mishimi, which is why the state enjoys diversity at its best. Also, the influence of this diversity can be seen in the culture and traditions especially in the dance and music of Assam. The ideal time to witness the different dance and music forms can be during the various festivals and fairs in the state.

Amongst the prominent dances in Assam is Bihu, Bagurumba, Bhortal, Ojapali and Jhumur. Where Bihu is performed almost everywhere and on the occasion of three Bihu festivals in the year, Bagurumba is performed by the Bodos during Bwisagu, a Bodo festival in the Vishuva Sankranti (mid-April). Bhortal on the other hand is sort of a classical dance form of the state and is performed in a group. The tea tribes of Assam also has a dance form which is called Jhumur. The dance is performed by young girls and boys together and can be witnessed in districts like Udalguri, Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia.

The Assamese music’s basic characteristic is its descending scale which makes it different from the raga-based or folk music from the rest of India. The indigenous music of Assam includes Bihu songs, Bodo, Karbi and Mising songs that are all structured and sung to the Pentatonic scale quite similar to the traditional music of China, indicating a strong influence of Chinese music on Assamese culture. The music of Assam can be broadly divided into Regional folk music, Ethnic folk music, Bihu songs, Allied styles, Bhakti music and Modern music.

Assam Travel Information at a Glance