Bihu Dance Ornaments

The state’s rich tradition of manufacturing gold jewellery dates back to several centuries. Some of the popular traditional Assamese jewellery include earrings with exquisite Lokaparo, Keru, Thuriya, Jangphai, Long Keru, Sona or Makori; an array of necklaces including Golpata, Satsori, Jon biri, Bena, Gejera, Dhol biri, Doog doogi, Biri Moni, Mukuta Moni, Poalmoni, Silikha Moni and Magardana, and diversified rings including Senpata, Horinsakua, Jethinejia, bakharpata and others.

Some designs are exclusively found in this region only. The jewellery is typically hand-made, and the designs mostly depict floral and faunal treasures of the region.

Traditional designs of Assamese jewelleries are simple but decorated with vibrant red gemstone, ruby or mina. Black, red and green colours on gold jewellries are most favourites among the buyers; these colours also dominate the traditional dresses of tribes and communities of the northeastern states.

Some designs of traditional Assamese ornaments are directly derived from the elements of tribal culture. These designs and motifs sometimes have found space in these ornaments directly, and sometimes by blending.

The Jangphai Keru and Gamkharu for example, were originally tribal ornaments. Lokaparo, which is an ornament with two sets of twin pigeons placed back to back in gold, mina or ruby was originally worn by high profile male dignitaries of the royal Ahom dynasty.

Silikha In English

Gamkharu, a pair of gold bangle, originally used by male only, now has formed an essential ornament of the Bihu dance costume of girls. References to traditional Assamese ornaments date back to the time of Mahabharata at least.

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During the seventh century, Bhaskarvarma, the King of Barman dynasty of Kamrupa or ancient assam, had sent a handsome quantity of Assamese ornaments along with other valuable gifts to king Harsavardhana, the great Indian emperor.

Bhaskarvarma inherited some of these ornaments from his predecessor Bhagadatta, who fought on the plains at Kurukshetra. The manufacture of gold ornaments, as well as gold-washing flourished in medieval Assam during the reign of the Ahom dynasty. Gold dust was abundantly found in the sands of different rivers of the state, but mainly from the river Subansiri, one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra. During the rule of the Ahom Kings, gold-washing on the banks of the Subansiri (meaning: “flow of gold”) was a major profession of the Sonowal Kacharis.

Jorhat and Sonari in Upper Assam, Nagaon in central Assam and Barpeta in lower Assam have been major hubs of manufacturing of Assamese jewelleries throughout the centuries. The jewellers are called “sonari” in Assamese language. Their technique of making jewellery bears resemblances to the traditions of South East Asia, much more than to other nearby parts of India itself. There are also similarities with the Kundan jewellery art of rajasthan. During 1853, there were four gold-washing mahals in the state.

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Bihu Dance Ornaments. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Bihu Dance Ornaments
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