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Bid to unify Mising Bihu dance forms
Farhana Ahmed

 TEKELIPHOOTAGHAT, Dhakuakhana (Lakhimpur), April 17 - The Mising community with its vibrant and colourful cultural heritage has been preserving its unique identity and practices for several centuries since their start of settlement on the banks of the Brahmaputra after migrating from the northern hills of present day Arunachal Pradesh.

Over many centuries, the community has evolved its dance forms along with its other cultural practices. These dance forms have gained variety in different geographical areas of the Brahmaputra valley so far. Therefore, the Mising dances performed in Dhakuakhana region vary from that performed in Disangmukh in Sivasagar district, of Majuli from that of Jonai and of Ghunasuti from that of Bokakhat in Golaghat district. However, a concerted effort has been made by some dedicated youths from the riverine areas of the Brahmaputra in Tekeliphootaghat of the Dhakuakhana subdivision of Lakhimpur district to bring all these dance forms to a uniformity to be performed as a single form of dance by holding workshops and practice sessions.

A workshop of this kind was held before the Rongali Bihu this time. The workshop was organised by Abutani Ka:sim Ope:, a cultural organisation based in Luitporia, Tekeliphootaghat in Dhakuakhana in which various forms of Mising Bihu dance like ‘Lereli’, ‘Selloya’ and ‘Gumrag So:nam’ were performed and tutored to make a uniform one. A final performance of the dance workshop was held on the playground of the Luitporiya High School on Tuesday where all the three forms of the Mising Bihu dance forms were performed by the participants.

Speaking to this correspondent, Uttam Doley, president of Abutani Ka:sim Ope: said that since 2004 the Mising Dirbi Kbang has been initiating efforts to bring all forms of traditional Mising dance to a uniform one like the uniformity of Bagarumba, Jhumuir and Satriya dances. The workshop was the continuation of that effort which was highly successful this time. The workshop brought together a large number of participants and audience on the second day of the Rongali Bihu celebrations in Dhakuakhana.

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