Category Archives: Karuna Kanta Kakati

Karuna Kanta Kakati Report

Excerpts from January 2013 report

During this month I collected data on various folksongs of the Misings. The Mising have a rich tradition of folksongs which is a part of Mising folk music and culture. I collected some text of Mising folksongs. I have also photographed different performers along with the documentation of the text and context. I visited six different villages of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts namely Dalapha, Lakhipather, Uttar Dhemaji, Gogamukh, Ahuchaol gaon and Teo gaon. Except a few, most of the folk singers are well trained with the modern songs. I also met three Mibus namely Ganesh Pegu, Bhimkanta Pegu and Gomeswar Pegu of three different villages of Dhemaji district who knew to sing the A:bang songs which are associated with various rites and rituals. Except for a few ,most of the folksongs are sung in accompaniment with musical instruments. I also collected some folk performances from the youth festival of the Misings held in Dhemaji.

The following are the classification of Mising folksongs. Folksongs of the Mising can be classified into four broad categories.

(1)   A:bang, (2) Kaban, (3) Ni:tom and (4) Oi:Ni:tom.

Except A:bang, the other categories can be called as Abe.

 

Music is an integral part of Mising life and culture. They have a rich oral tradition. Since they had no script of their own and had no writing system, their literary resources in varied forms were orally transmitted from one generation to the next until recently. Probably during the seventies of the twentieth century, they adopted roman script for language. Since then the efforts are made at individual level by some knowledgeable persons to collect, codify and document folklore materials.

Folk songs probably are the earliest form of literary genre as far as the oral tradition is concerned. The folksongs reflect the philosophy of life and culture. Usually the composer or lyricist is not known, but its appeal engulfs and embraces every one’s heart.

 

Folksongs occupy an important place in oral literature of the community. It seems that they are the earliest evidence of poetic creation of the society. They are the expression of the body of beliefs, sorrow and sufferings, victory and defeat, hopes and aspiration and so on. The early Mising spontaneously preferred musical notes as a medium of revelation of overflowing thoughts. In folksong, therefore, cosmic philosophy of the corresponding community is envisaged, the beauty of nature is printed, running of streams and sweeping of the blowing wind is echoed, petals of the blooming flowers are embellished and sensual dreams of the lover and beloved are colorfully painted. Besides, the daily activities as tilling of land, herding of cattle, hunting or preying of wild animals and birds, weaving of clothes, netting of fish, cooking and playing find expression in folksongs. It also includes the universal experiences of life and death, day and night, lightening and thundering, drought and flood.

The folksongs sung by the Mising priest is called Mibu A:bang or A:bang for short. Similarly, a song of lamentation is called Kaban while a lullaby Ko: Ni:tom. Thus one is likely to confound Mising folksongs with these categorical names. In fact, the Mising word for a song is Ni;tom or Abe. In a sense, the Mising folksongs can be broadly divided into two categories-(1) Occasional (2) Non-occasional. The first one includes those songs which are sung on some specific occasion while the later one incorporates which are sung anytime and anywhere. While in the domain of the former Mibu A:bang or A:bang, Midang Ni:tom(weddingsong) and Bi:rig Ni:tom(seasonal song) can be included, a great variety of songs relating to various subjects in latter. However, codification of Mising folk songs in scientific methods is yet to be done.

I collected different folksongs of the Misings. They have some unique creation of folksongs which are associated with socio-cultural life. Folksong of the Mising is an integral part of their aged old folk culture. As I have already mentioned there are four broad categories of folk songs. I have collected few versions of text as well as texture of the folksongs.  Few of the collections are mentioned below.

(1)   A; bang geet : there are two types of A;bang geets; one is called Miri-A:bang and another is called as Mibu-A:bang. The Miris are the medicine man of the Misings and those songs which are chanted by the Miri is called Miri-A:bang and Mibus aretheir priest and those songs which are chanted by the Mibu is called Mibu A:bang.

(a)   Miri A:bang : these are verse formed  hymns  which are chanted by the Miri with a view of invoke certain super natural beings to help and guide him to find out the causes of any adversaries such as untimely death, famine, strife, and other natural calamities occurred in a family, village and in individual of his /her long sufferings and their remedial measures.  Few line of such a song is mentioned below.

Se:din a:na me;lo ba;bua

Nolu Kemdangem ge:no:langka

Ngokke a:jio Ka:li:mena

Mise serio serob moteika.”

(O Mother Se:di, father Me:lo hear us! Revive energy to my child so that he can recover and lead a joyous and jubilant life)

(b)   Mibu A:bang : these are also verse hymns which are chanted by a Mibu narrating the story of the origin or creation of the Universe from the stage of a great Vacuum or the creation of mother se:di and father Me:lo or any other Gods and Goddesses and other super natural beings. These songs are quite long in comparison to other folksongs.  A few lines of such a song is mentioned below.

“Delog rongem

Keyum Se:din a:neke

Me:lo mambi a:ji mambi du;name

Keyum me;lo Ya: yike

Konnoke golonge gonlamem

Se:di Digire Irkonge Kongkie

Ane kolang Ko: mangko Ya:yiko.”

(After that with the cohabitation of the mother Se:di and father Me:lo, a fatas occupied in the womb of mother Se:di Digire was born out of them and then Irkong and also the parent Kongki and Ko:mang.)

(2)   Kaban geet : Kabans are songs of lamentation sung without beats. It depicts generally the unsuccessful love or separation of one’s from his/her beloved by way of obstruction from the family or society or due to untimely death. The rhythms of these songs are slow enough to express the tragic entity. There are various kinds of Kaban geet. Some of them are mentioned below.

(a)   Komjing Kaban : these are sung to express one’s inner feeling towards his/her beloved who have spent his/her days playing together with his/her counterpart.

Komjing lokkebo reiyo lokkebo

Pitpa :lokkebo jeyango lokkebo, oi oiya

Oiya de:pinem pinman bosutai

Oinom  de:pongem po:man bosutai, oi oiya

Oiya so:jonko so:man bosutai

Gi:dang so:jonko so:man bosutai

(Since the time of my innocent days of infancy and childhood, from the time we played jointly by making mock cooking, dancing in the house premise, making merry)

(b)   Me : bo Kaban : these lamentation songs of the youth which are sung by the young boys and girls expressing hopes and aspiration, somber and sorrow arising out of misfortune, separation or obstruction on the way of materializing their love. There are several such songs, here only one song is mentioned below.

Ba:pi yi:linge yi:dag nelempe

Me:bo ngok yi:lunge yi:lunge yi:dag kunena, oi oiya

So:si patunge biker nelempe

Me:bon go biker biyer dakkune, oi oiya

( Like the blowing wind, the wind of our love has been moving around without any stability like that of the swaying creepers on the air after getting it cut into pieces)

(c)    Do:bo Kaban : these are also songs of lamentation which are sung by the bachelor of elder age group who could not materialize his dream of marrying his or her beloved. These are also sung by married couples narrating their past life and future probability.

(d)   Lupo kabans : these are regarded as the songs of conversation which are sung to express the feeling of two lovers who accidently were uncle and niece by relation and between whom no marriage could be materialized due to social taboo of the Misings realizing their limitations, they had to remain apart without fulfilling their hope of union. There are several such songs which will be mentioned in final report.

(e)   Yamne Kaban : these are weeping of the bride at the time of wedding expresses the feelings of separation of the bride from the family. In this type of song, the bride and her mother expresses their feelings as to how she was brought up by her mother and lloked after by her father and how the days were full of joys and sorrows shared by her being a member of the family. There are lots of such text  which will be mentioned in the final report.

(f)    Pumsu Kaban : these are also the songs of lamentation which are sung by a couple recollecting their past days of married life and probable separation in future due to old age.

(g)   Sirung Kaban : Sirung Kaban are the songs sung on the demise of a relative including one’s life partner by accident or otherwise.  A few lines of a Sirung Kaban is:

Do:nyi sa:yem po:lo sa:yem

Ba:buke dumsing migmodem kappa:dungai

Silo no kapila among ara:bo dongkangkum

Dongkale tapume nom dopage bomype

(o father, I used to glimpse your face every day when the sun rises, the moon appears but today you are lying under the ground and will be eaten up soon by earthworm and insects)

(h)   Tumbo Kaban : these are also the songs of lamentation in the form of weeping which are sung by a widower recollecting their past married life and present life on experiencing the worries of a widowed life. A small song of turbo kaban is mentioned below.

Oiye appuna turjon ajona

Lo:nyik turbo suge:la

Ayangem bibo suge:la

Kapikan silo no

Ater ngom mega:la

Appun ori:sukampe

Ori:sul gipakkan

( O my beloved life partner , living together for few days, loving me for few days, now what is the wrong that you left me alone and you made exit like a fallen flower.)

(i)     Bone Kaban : Bone kaban are the songs of lamentation which expresses how one of the lovers who could not woo his or her counterpart has been living a dejected life trickling down tears throughout the life. The text of a bone kaban song is mentioned below.

Oko po:yade yadbom kangkume

Pone po:yadei yadbom kangkune

Pone po: yadei yadbom kangkune

Asi si : yadei yadbom Kungkune oi oiya

( O my darling, which of the whirlpool pushed you away from me- whether of wind or of water)

(j)     Do:ying Kaban : these are a sort of ballad which are sung in the form of songs. The lengths of the story are not so long. The story narrated in the form of song may be of any incident centering round one’s love affairs or otherwise under given situation. A few of such stories are given below.

(a)   Dela Ga:mke do:ying : it is a story which is narrated by a courageous Mising man named Gela Gam who was captive during the British regime.

(b)   Binud-Pipoli:ke do:ying : it is also a ballad which narrates the love story of Binud, a non-Mising guy and Pipoli,a beautiful Mising girl leading to tragic ending by suicidal shooting of both for unable to materialize their love because societal opposition due to prevalent caste barrier.

The following are the ballads of different categories. Some of the collected text will be produced in the final report.

(c)    Di: rkombe :

(d)   Yaka miremke do:ying :

(e)   Donbor Rotonike do:ying :

(f)    Damaike do:ying

(g)   Deubor Dentali:ke do:ying

(h)   Pisiringke do:ying

(i)     Lo:tung Oiya Damoibik do:ying

To collect the text of the folksongs and documentation of them my collaborator introduced some folk artists and knowledgeable persons of the community. He also helped me to collect text and texture of the folksongs, sometimes searching some secondary sources for collecting the text of the folksongs.  According to him all the verities of folksongs are not practiced among the mising people. Some of them are found only in some secondary sources. Besides some of the tradition bearers are no longer alive. Such cases only the texts are collected from secondary sources. We have met six renowned folk singers of the Mising. The collaborator asked me to meet the following folksingers and discuss various issues about the folk songs of the Misings.

  1. Gubindo Taid, Gogamukh ,Teok goan
  2. Gubinda Narah, Ahuchaol gaon, Lakhimpur
  3. Ms Prabina Taye, Dalapha
  4. Maya Yein, Lakhipather, Dhemaji
  5. Birason Doley, Gogamukh
  6. Maziram Koptak, Uttar Dhemaji

We exchanged our thoughts and feelings regarding Mising folksongs. They have also been interviewed.

Besides my collaborator suggested me to meet some Miris and Mibus to collect a:bang songs. Accordingly we have met three Mibus namely Ganesh Pegu, Bhimkanta Pegu and Gomeswar Pegu of three three different villages of Dhemaji and collect the text as well as document performances.

Excerpts from March   2013 report

During this month I have collected data on various folksongs of the Misings. In my previous report (for the month of February-2013), I mentioned only two different categories of folk songs of the Misings. The remaining two categories out of four categories have been discussed in this report.  During this month, I collected some texts of Mising folksongs mainly Ni:tom songs and Oi:ni:ton songs. I have also taken photographs of different performers along with the documentation of the texture and context. I visited seven different villages of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts namely  Rai chapori, Dalapha, Lakhipather, Uttar Dhemaji, Gogamukh, Ahuchaol gaon and Teo gaon. Except a very few, most of the folksongs are sung in accompaniment with musical instruments. During this period I have met two different music groups who perform folksongs and folkdances of Rai chapori and Uttar Dhemaji areas. I also collected some folk performances from the youth festival of the Misings held in Dhemaji. Folksongs of the following two categories namely Ni:tom and Oi:Ni:tom has been discussed here. I have collected three /four versions of different categories but here I have mentioned only one version for each category.

The modern singers perform particularly the Ni:tom songs and Oi:ni:tom songs in public functions organized by the Cultural organizations in accompaniment with the musical instruments. Now a days, the tune of the Oi:ni:tom songs are used in the greater Assamese bihu songs. Most of the MP3 produced by the Music production companies use at least one-two songs in the tune and texture of Mising oi:ni:tom  in bihu songs. There is a big question of copyright in this regards whether the companies inform the concerned community and get prior consent.

 

 

In my previous report, I mentioned the elaborate description of two categories of Mising folksongs along with their text. There are four broad categories of Mising folksongs i.e., A;bang geet, Kaban geet, Ni:tom geet and Oi;nitom geet. The remaining two categories namely ni:ton songs and Oi:niton songs of the Misings are discussed.

(1)Ni:tom  : Nitom means the songs of appeasement. ani:toms are the songs which are sung on various occasions. There are various kinds of ni;tom songs found in the Mising society.  These are described one by one in below.

(a)  Mibu ni:tom :  Mibu ni:toms or Mibu songs are those songs which are sung with dance by the mibu accompanied by a small group or young boys and girls having their living parents while proceeding to the imaginary land of super natural beings to find out the causes of adversaries in the village .

Do:si piri:lo piri:lo pogyoka

Do: sike lekorem piri:lo pogyoka

Korango dekkunei piri:lo pogyoga

Ko:je na:neke piri:lo pogyoga

Jemane kobona piri:lo pogyoga

( let us go by limping like wag-tail birds to the place where the mother earth resides with a view to find out the soul of the suffering person and to bring back it by way of soothing for his or her normal life spirit)

(b) Midang ni:tom : these are wedding songs like the yamne kaban through it is also sung in a slow tempo.

Terere terere terereteta

Adi tele di:tele ke:ke randanga

Terere terere terereteta

Banji so:nyik yange tagai ke:ke randanga

Terere terere terereteta

Koue kidar ka:pong kakuli ke:ke randanga

Terere terere terereteta

Banji ko:bang pageoula ke:ke randanga

Terere terere terereteta

Ma:mo kampum yamsa:nape ke:ke randanga

(A felling banji log was kept in the hill so as to make it seasoned one. O guys, let us go there to fetch that log to cut out a ladder to be used for bringing up the beautiful bride to the stilted floor. )

© Bini ni:ton : these are lullabies sung by a mother or in her absence by an attendant to pacify the crying baby. It is generally sung in a slow tempo but sometimes it is also sung in a faster tempo to attract and make the baby happy.

Kou:k eta:tobi okolop gikane

Ki:rug rukkape gikang

Sisukko apkage:l bombi yekupe

Appinge dola:pe dei

(Grand father of our baby has gone for hunting and will bring a stag and we will take the meat jointly)

(d)Bi:rig ni:tom : these are songs of season sung on the occasion that falls in a particular season. As for example, the following song is sung with beats during Ali:a:ye-ligang( seed sowing festival which fall in the month of spring season).

Gumrag gumrag keko:nolok gumrag

Kadu kadu gumrag keko:nolok gumrag

Gumrag gumrag keko:nsok gumrag

Kadu kadu gumrag keko:nsok gumrag

Dagdunge gumrag daktoge gumrag

Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang

Din dini pak pak baro dini pak

Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang Ali-a:ye-ligang

( Gimrag gumrag, the drum is sounding. Gumrag is there in the other side, Gumrag is here in this side, and everywhere there is gumrag of Ali-a:ye-ligang)

(e) Si :lung : these are jungle songs which can be compared with Bi:rig ni:tom as  it expresses how the plants which grow up luxuriantly on arrival of a particular season reminding one’s to recollect his or her beloved who is not at sight.

(f)Leke ni:tom: these are olden songs sung in group for merry making among the youths. It can be sung with or without musical instrument of traditional in slow or a faster rhythm.

(g) Lotta so:man Ni:tom : these are the songs of merry making sung in the lotta or house premise to premises by the older group without traditional musical instrument. These songs are lighter than kabans in its composition and tune. There are three types of such songs namely (1)Yirman so:man (b) Roila ni:toms and (3) Raktup ni:tom

Yirmane so:manem meyoke jonbulla

Yirmane so:manem meyo

Turrangoi du:doso yirmanebong so:mane

Similo okolok pa:yem

(o my friends, don’t give up this merry making so long we are alive here in this planet earth, for, this will not be found again after our death. )

(h) Nokoli ni:tom : these are such songs which are composed in broken Assamese language and sung generally at the concluding part of merry making after husari or oi:tom so:man as an extra or addition to it, accompanied by traditional musical instruments such as dumdum(drum) and lu:pi(cymbal).

Khaboli gator oi bonnam oi ko:nenga

Kaboli gator oi bon

Jima oi moromem logali ko:nenga

Orilot logali jui ( The disrepute of khabali ghat, o my darling, the disrepute of it and you shown me so much of affection that it inflamed my whole body.)

(i)Moman Ni:tom : these songs are regarded as nursery rhymes in character which are sung accompanied by dance or without dance either performed as a solo or group number. It can also be called children’s game song or play songs.

Donsiri Donbora bedne sati igbora

Nappa:desin nabbora yeru:desin tambora

Amigdesin migbora a :yedesin kotora

Donsiri donbora bedne sati igbora

( O dhanbar of Dhasiri, you are blowing up the torn umbrella and your mouth is also big enough, ears are wide, eyes are wide and teeth are uneven too)

(j) Peyum ni:tom : these are a sort of religious recitation towards God and Goddesses and soul of forefathers of the clan in the form of appealing and appeasing them whenever a socio religious function is performed, this type of recitation , though, can not exactly be called folksongs but it has already become a part of the traditional rituality having the element of religious song.

Silo Akonsinna, Se:di Me:lo, Karsing-Kartak

Do:nyi-Po:lo,Gu:min-So:yin, Koje:yanggo

Nolu appinge taddak ka:dag langka

Ali-aye-ligangem li:len dubgkune

Silolikke doter ti:ter doye ti:ye kune

Okokosin domur doyar ti:mur ti:yar imoma :peka.

(O Se:di –Me:lo, sun and moon, other Gods and Goddesses, forefathers etc.you listen and see, today we are breaking the restriction for throughfare on the occasion of Ali-a:ye-ligang and from today onwards we will be taking anything else as before, you please don’t take it otherwise.)

(k) Do :bo Ni:tom : these song can be turned as modernized version of kabans in respect of its composition which are sung generally with or without musical instrument in slow rhythm to express one’s tragic state intending to draw attention to his or her beloved or listeners. While content of Oi:ni:toms amy be of any kind such as tragedy, satirical or simple statement, but do:boni:toms must be of tragic one equally in its content and tune.

 

Go:ru oi mangayem menjeg oi mangayem

Poga tuling tuligge:l sopan oi sutone, oi oiya

( Neither being a cow nor a buffalo why we have been separated by dragging with help of rope on the neck)

(2) Oi:ni:tom  : Oi:ni:tom or love songs are sung about one’s dear or beloved one. Oi:ni:toms are the most numerous and productive genre of Mising folk music. It is short verse which may be arranged in the form of a couplet, depending on one’s choice, rhythm of the lines not being obligatory.

There are hundreds of Oi:ni:tom songs , here put only two examples.
Do:nyi li:len dokkebonge Po:lo sa:len dokkebo

Oinok so:nam ka:li:la dumdum man-yir sutagai

( since the time of rising the sun and moon, o my childhood friend, I learnt how to beat drum just to have a glimpse of your dancing.)

Oiye oiye me:nane oinok agom me:nane

Borali oi ngosanpe sanang oi gedu:ne

(O my darling, I am so much so longing for you that I am physically deteriorated like of a dried borali fish.)

My collaborator, Ekolobya Gam is a popular singer of the Mising. According to his suggestion, we were doing field work in seven different villages of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur district.  To collect the text of the folksongs and documentation of them my collaborator introduced some folk artists and knowledgeable person of the community in the above mentioned villages. He also helped me to collect text and context of the folksongs. According to him all the varieties of folksongs already mentioned above are not practiced among the Mising people. Some of them are found only in some secondary sources. I met two cultural and literary organization of the Misings namely TMPK ( Takam Mising Poring Kebang) and Mising Abang Kebang for discussion their folksongs.

Excerpts from April 2013 report

During this month I collected data on various musical instruments found among the Misings Folk songs, folk dances and any other performances are performed in accompaniment of different musical instruments. I have taken photographs of the instruments along with the documentation of the text and context. I have collected some folk performances from the youth festival of the Misings held in Dhemaji and sixteen different musical instruments of the Mising community.

Among the percussion instruments, dumdum is one of the most significant musical instruments of the Misings. It is made of leather. The leather work is done by a particular community in Assam which is known as Musi or Badyakar. Instruments that produce sound by the vibration of the string through the thumb, fingers, stick and plectrum are called string instruments. There are three peculiar stringed musical instruments found among the Misings which is beaten with a small stick to produce sound. Such instruments are dendun, dumpak and piro dendun.  There is only one solid musical instrument found made of metal. It is known as lelong. It is made of eight different metals like brass, bell l, copper, bronze, silver etc. it is regarded as one of the sacred musical instruments of the Misings and one of the important musical instruments to perform any rituals.

Wind instruments carry melody more than the marked rhythm and consequently they may be considered as providing an extension or modulation of the human voice. This is particularly clear for the wind instruments—the flute, for example, in which the breath of the performance actually passes through the instrument and is transformed into a voice unlike the performer’s own. The new voice may be more beautiful or more powerful or it may be likened to a voice from the supernatural. Another instrument known as the nose flute, is played by blowing through the nose.

Wind instruments of the Misings are Pempa or Tapung, Tumbo Tapung, Pomsu Tapung, Tutok Tapung,  Kepong Tapung, Gungung etc. the pempa and gungung are almost similar to the Assamese musical instrument Pepa and Gagana. The sound produced is different in case of Mising people.

There are four different categories of Musical instruments found among the Mishings. (1) Leather Instrument (2) Different types of flutes (3) String Instrument (4) Solid or Metal Instruments.

(a)   Leather Instrument: There is only one popular leather instrument found amongst the  Mishings of Assam. According to some musicians, one more leather instrument was found among them which is not available now. Dumdum is only leather instrument .

(b)   Dumdum (drum) :  It is almost similar to the Assamese bihu dhol. According to my collaborator, there is a very small difference between dumdum and bihu dhol. Dumdum is almost cylindrical in shape but in case of bihu dhol the middle portion is a little bit wider than both the ends. Some other folk musician told me that both the instruments are similar.  As an outsider of the community, my observation is both the instruments are almost same. It is very distinct that the music or the sound produced by the instrument is totally different which can be recognized.

(c)    Material used:  A wooden log of almost 3ft to 3.6 ft long and skin of goat and cows. The wooden is hollowed cylindrically by the musician or carpenter. According to the musicians the wooden log preferably from jackfruit tree is more likely used to prepare the wooden drum. According to them, the sound produced by such drum is very clear and unique which is also accepted by the other Assamese castes people particularly in case of bihu dhol. Both the ends of the drum are covered with leather which is procured from the skin of cows or goat. The leather work of the instrument is done by a particular community which is known as Musi or Badyakar. They collect the leather from the butcher’s shop or from villages where the cow or goat dies naturally. The leather of the right side of the instrument is beaten with a stick and the left side with fingers.

The instrument produces different kind of sound. It is one of the most important musical instrument which is beaten to perform different kinds of folksongs and folkdances of the Misings particularly Gomrag dance and Oi:ni:tom songs.

(1)   Solid instrument: There is a metallic solid musical instrument found among the Mising people. The ethnic name of the instrument is Lelong. According to the informant and my collaborator the instrument is made of a metallic mixture of eight different metals. According to them, the metals are brass, bronze, bell, copper etc. It is beaten with a wooden or bamboo stick. It produces a loud sound; it can reach up to almost 1km diameter area. It is generally beaten for two purposes-(1) to gather the villagers in their morong ghar, (2) to gather the villagers in a house if someone dies and in a funeral ceremony (Dadgam) when rituals are performed. The Mising people regard it as a sacred musical instrument. Now days, some musicians use cymbals along with drum to perform oi:ni;tom, but according to the community artisans and my collaborator, it is the recent addition which is assimilated from the greater Assamese society.

(2)   Flute: There are different kinds of flutes found among the Misings. These are pomsu tapung, tumbo tapung, tutak tapung, kepong tapung, jekreng tapung, Gungnang etc. The tapung is the ethnic term use to denote flutes of the Misings.

(a)   Pomsu tapung. It is a peculiar wing instrument of the Misings. The sound produced by the instrument is almost to the musical instrument used to perform serpent dance in different parts of the country. The instrument consists of two distinct parts, one part is made of a bamboo tube with three/four holes and the other part is made of a wild dried gourd. A pair of bamboo tubes is fixed with the gourd and the Mising people regard it as a couple. The symbolic meaning of the pair is compared with male and female. One tube produces male sound and the other tube produces female sound. The instrument is generally used to perform some rituals.  According to my collaborator, such instruments are also found in Thailand and Myanmar.

(b)   Tumbo tapung : It is also similar with Pomsu tapung but here, only one bamboo tube consists of  five holes is used to produce sound instead of two bamboo tubes. Here also, a bamboo tube with five holes is fixed with a wild gourd. It is also blown in some rituals.

(c)    Tutak tapung : It is similar with Assamese Bahi. A bamboo tube almost 1ft to 1.6ft of length consisting of a knot in one end is taken. The musician make one small hole near by the knot and 5-6 holes are made parallel in equal intervals towards another end. It is blown in accompaniment with other musical instruments to perform oi:ni:tom and gomrang dance.

(d)    Kepong tapung : It is similar toTatuk tapung. A bamboo tube almost 1ft to 1.6ft of length consisting of a knot in one end is taken. The musician makes one small hole near the knot and 6 holes are made parallel in equal interval of gap towards another end. It is blown in accompaniment with other musical instruments to perform oi:ni:tom and gomrang dance and other folk performance of the Misings.

(e)    Jekreng tapung : Jekreng tapung is an intrinsic part of the traditional folk music of the Misings. It is also called as pempa which is resembled with Assamese Pepa. It consists of two parts; one part is made of bamboo tube and other part is made of buffalo horn. A bamboo tube consists of five small hole is fixed with a shell of a buffalo horn. The diameter of the horn is larger at one end. Gradually it tapers down and thus the diameter of other end is very small. The upper end of the instrument is covered with the horn of buffalo horn. The sound of the instrument mingles harmoniously with that of the dumdum to add grandeur to Mising music. Initially, the buffalo herds played the instrument when they grazed buffalos in the field. The sound of the Instrument reflects the rhythm of the rural life of the Misings.

(f)    Gungnang: It is a small, split-bamboo instrument, very finely cut and delicate. Young girls play it by holding it between the teeth, striking with the right forefinger, allowing the wind to pass as and when necessary. The sound emitted by this instrument is short and high-pitched. It is generally use along with the accompaniment with other musical instrument like dumdum (drum) to perform oi:ni:tom and other folksongs of the Misings and gomrang dance performance.

(3)   String instruments: According to an informant, many years ago the Mising people used a string musical instrument which was made with the hair of the buffalo tail. According to him, such string instruments are not found among the mising people but some other bamboo instruments are found which produce the string sound. Such instruments are dendun and dumpak.

(a)   Dendun : A piece of bamboo consisting of two joint in both the ends is taken. The artisan or craftsman prepares a pair of bamboo string very carefully with a sharp knife. The outer layer of the bamboo tube.  Usually two pegs are fitted in both the ends of the string. The sound is produced by beating the strings with a small bamboo stick. Such instruments are found among other tribal communities of this region.

(b)   Dumpak :  It is also similar with the dendun.

(c)    Piro dendun : It is almost rectangular shaped bamboo instrument. Thin bamboo strips are woven skillfully so that it can produce sound if someone beat with a small bamboo stick. It is peculiar musical instrument of the Misings.

Karuna Photos

13 Community elder Ekolobya Gam

EkloboyaName : Mr. Ekolobya Gam

Father’s Name : Mr. Thagiram Gam
Date of birth : 1.1.1964
Caste :  ST ( Mising)
Religion : Hindu( Dony-polo)
Nationality : Indian

Permanent Address : Vill – Juri par, Aradhal Kolapather
P.O-Aradhal, Dist- Dhemaji, Assam
Pin-787057

Correspondence Address : Vill – Juri par, Aradhal Kolapather
P.O-Aradhal, Dist- Dhemaji, Assam
Pin-787057

Educational Qualification: HS passed (12th passed)
Cultural activities

  • Radio artist since 1975 to till date of All India Radio, Dibrugarh
  •   Main Arranger of  Miri Jiyari ( Documentary Film, Misic Director was Dr. Bhupen Hazarika)
  • Instructor of  Mising  folk dance

Membership of Various organizations

  •  President of All Assam Mising Cultural Association 2004-2011
  • Executive Member of  Mising Sahitya Member
  • Executive Member of Mising Bane Kedang ( Mising Congress)
  • 4.      Special Member of All Assam Dony Polo Yelam  Kebang
  • Cultural Secretary TMPK ( Takam Mising Poring Kebang means All Mising Student Union) in 1980

Leadership in Cultural group

  • Leading a Cultural group to Delhi for performing Mising folk dance in Republic Day celebration, Govt of India in 1987
  • Leading a Cultural group ( As Govt. Representative, Govt of Assam)to  Cultural programme organized by Govt. of  Goa in 1992
  • Leading a Cultural group to Calcutta for performing Mising folk dance in Assam Day celebration in 1998
  • Leading a Cultural group to Delhi for performing Mising folk dance in Assam Day celebration in 2000
  • Leading a Cultural group to Itanagar  Annual Conference of NESA ( North East Student Association) in 1993
  • Leading a Cultural group for performing Mising folk dance in Sankardeva Kalakshetra ((Guwahati) in 2004
  • Leading a  cultural group for performing Mising folk dance in Keziranga elephant festival (Assam)  in 2003