Music from India

Sunuwal Kachari Toka Bihu song

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  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 56

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Outdoors near to the village namghar (prayer hall) and temple, Vallechan gaon, Sunawal Kachari village, North Jengraimukh, Majuli, Jorhat district, Assam.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    Thaneswarei Sunuwal, Patrila Sunuwal, Sarumai Sunuwal, Pramili Sunuwal, Dhemaji Sunuwal, Khageswami Sunuwal, Dami Sunuwal, Safama Sunuwal, Harai Sunuwal, Mani Sunuwal, Patali Sunuwal, Telang Sunuwal, Ila Sunuwal, Padami Sunuwal, Dipa Sunuwal, Sarenvani Sunuwal, Ritumani Sunuwal, Rashoni Sunuwal, Pafali Sunuwal, Bichitra Sunuwal, Lili Sunuwal

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Toka Bihu belongs to the Bihu musical genre and is practised by singers, instrumentalists and dancers of the Sunuwal Kachari community on Majuli island. The dance is named after the large bamboo clapper, toka, which is played by women to support their dancing and singing. The Sunawal Kachari are a small community of Tibeto-Burman origin mainly settled in Upper Assam. Some of the older people are still able to speak their own language; the majority have adopted Assamese as their mother tongue, which can also be heard in this recording. The female singers, toka players and dancers are: Thaneswarei, Patrila, Sarumai, Pramili, Dhemaji, Khageswami, Dami, Safama, Harai, Mani, Patali, Telang, Ila, Padami, Dipa, Sarenvani, Ritumani, Rashoni, Pafali, Ila, Bichitra and Lili (all with the surname Sunuwal).

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