Bohua dance festival of Assam


Bohua dance is a holy religious dance festival for ‘Sonowal Kachari’ community of Assam. It is celebrated for once within two years.

Especially organized in Dibrugarh districts Jamira village.

Actually, nobody knows when and how this fair originated. But there is a belief been running from a very long time that it was first organized by their great great great grandfathers.


Why Bohua dance festival is celebrated in Assam?

Sonowal Kachari people worship ‘Lord Shiva’. According to their traditional belief, Shiva deity satisfies, when they perform this ‘Bohua Dance’ in front of the crowd. 

For them, if Lord Shiva satisfied by seeing their performance then he will take away all their bad lucks, sadness and sickness from the society and will establish peace among themselves.

Bohua dance festival of Assam


How Assam’s Bohua dance performed?

There is very unique method applied in performing Bohua dance

Here artist uses some kinds of Mask and Banana leaf’s on their body. The dance performer prepares and dressed in Jungle. 

There is a reason behind it, according to their traditional belief, nobody in the audience or an outsider should recognize the performer’s name or identity (Who he is?)

Before the performance, there is a collective prayer given by village peoples and at that time some people covered performers by a red cloth. 

This is a traditional thought that the red cloth is considered as the sign of creation and destruction. 

There is a lot of musical instrument used during the performance. The performance is all about showing their traditional belief on their goodness lord Shiva and devil king Daksh

Here instruments like Mridanga, Tal, Dundubhi (Assamese words) are used.

After the Bohua dance other programs, like Sonowal Kachari Bihu also performed. At last the whole program ends with a collective food eating program. 

In the food, they eat Lao pani (rice beer), Pork meat and rice etc.


Historical background of Bohua dance

According to Hindu mythology, there was a devil king named ‘Daksh’, he had a daughter named with ‘Sati’. 

His daughter ‘Sati’ wanted to marry with Lord Shiva but he was completely opposed to her daughter’s decision because he thought Shiva was his enemy. 

Therefore once he insulted Shiva in a worship program. Sati gets much hearted from this incident, therefore, she gave up her life in misery. 

This incident made Lord Shiva quite angry and then he created two devil’s named Rudrakali and Virbhadra and ordered them to kill Dakshraj.  

They both killed Daksh and cut his head off from the body. 

At the time that Daksh was killed, he was doing worship. That is why the deity’s including Indra later requested Brahma to give life back again to Daksh. 

Brahma requested Shiva to return the life that he can complete the worship.

And finally, with the request of Brahma, Lord Shiva returned Daksh life as a Goat from the head side.

The whole Bohua dance is based on this theme, the whole story of Dakshraj, Lord Shiva and Sati performs through this traditional dance.





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