The Folklore behind Bodo Music
Folklore is a living tradition behind expressive behavior that brings a group together, creates conventions and also constructs an identity and it commits it to cultural memory. Since WJ Thoms was introduced in the year 1846, folklore has flourished as a branch of scientific study of archaic beliefs, customs and traditions of any sociocultural groups.
Postcolonial Indian situation has opened up to several possibilities related to folkloric study to cross over socio-cultural and linguistic boundaries so to retrieve a more heterogeneous perception and quality.
Bodos(pronounced BO-ROS) are members of an indigenous tribe in Northeastern Assam. They are mostly located in and around the Brahmaputra river. They were one of the settlers of Assam. And today, they are one of the largest ethnic groups in the state.
The generic name Bodo was given by Hodgson to this Tibeto- Burme
se language. The people claim to have their lineage from the Mongoloids who have intermingled with the Aryan, different eras of Indian History.
The Bodos claim to be a part of an ancient race of the Mongoloid origin, who are the inhabitants of a mythical country Bod or Bada that exist in the north of the Himalayas and West of China.
Similarities between Bodo folk Music and dance
1. Bagarumba dance and music:
One of the most traditional dances which is performed by Bodo Women. The women are dressed in traditional Dokhomas, Aronais and Jamgras. They wear Jewelry and look very pretty as they dance to the tunes. They flap their hands thus resembling butterflies. Therefore this dance is also called the Butterfly Dance.
Bodo Musical Instruments
1) Kham: It is the Bodo musical drum which is big and long in size
2) Sifung: It means the long sized Bodo flute having only 8 holes. The length of the flute may vary from 25” to 30’
3) Jotha: It is a symbol which is like a musical instrument beaten together in pairs. It is equal in size and shape like an authentic Indian musical instrument.
4) Serja: It is a kind of violin used by the Bodos and have strings and traditionally played like a bow made of bamboo.
5) Gongona: It is like a Jew’s harp and is a kind of a small wind instrument used by the Bodos.
6) Birju: A stringed Bodo musical instrumen. Just like a Veena in Indian music.