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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Culture of Majuli – The Living Archeological museum

Majuli – The Living Archeological museum

The incredible north east states of India have a plenty of hidden treasures such as lush jungles, mystic peaks, verdant valleys etc. It is a region of seven charming states known as seven sisters. One of these states is Assam which is renowned with the world for Majuli. It is the largest fresh water Island of South Asia, situated in mid- river delta and located at upper reaches of Brahmaputra. Culture of Majuli is has been the cradle of Assamese for past hundreds of years. The satras preserve antiques like utensils, weapons, jewelry and many other items that are of cultural significance. On this island every single person is involved in Ras festival, a three day long depicting the live of Krishna and many people from thousands of kilometers come to celebrate this festival.

 Majuli has around 22-24 satras or Vaishnava monasteries namely Auniati, Kamalabari, Dakhinpat etc.  These Vaishnava monasteries play very important role in preaching or propagating the religious ideology of the Sankardeva-a Vaisnavite saint and his disciple Madhavdeva of Assamese medieval time. This preaching is the main culture of Majuli and is known as Satria culture.

The culture of Majuli is not confined just to the satras alone. Each and every village on this island has assimilated all these traditional values in daily life. Pottery is the single most important culture of Majuli. . The potter’s wheel never found its way in this beautiful Island till date. Pots and other pottery products are still made from beaten clay with hands & are burnt in fired kilns, fired by driftwood. The central point or the common point of all villages is Namghar where people gather to pray and sing periodically. This place is much more than a temple - it is a sacrosanct place for meeting as well and usually after the sessions members will get together and discusses on matters concerning  about the village. In this era of individualism, Majuli is a place which still preserves the notion of the community. Thus seeing the culture of Majuli we can say that it is the living archeological museum in its own right.

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