Music from India

Huna-huna rehuna, Borgit devotional song

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  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 58

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Open-air close to the namghar (prayer hall), Auniati Satra, Majuli, Jorhat district, Assam.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    Govinda Sandra Oja (singer, pati tal), Madhob Sandra Boroah Bayon (khol drum)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Borgit is a genre of devotional songs composed by the Hindu reformers Shankaradeva and his disciple Madhavadeva. Shankaradeva lived in the 16th and Madhavadeva in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Assamese musicologist Pabitrapan Goswami states that Mahavadeva left 157 and Sankaradeva 191 songs. Ankar geet, a genre of song belonging to the plays which were also composed by these two reformers, is usually included under the umbrella of the Borgit genre. Some followers of these religious leaders composed further songs, which in some satras are also called Borgit. All Borgit-s explore the philosophical and devotional themes of the Assamese Vaishnava creed. ‘Bor’ or ‘bar’ means great and ‘git’ or ‘geet’ means song in Assamese. This piece, ‘Huna-huna rehuna’ belongs to the set of songs composed by Shankaradeva and deals with a story taken from the epic Ramayana. The musicians mention that it is played using the Raag Asuwari and Ektal rhythmic cycle. The singers (bayan) support themselves on the gayan-bayan-tal – medium-sized cymbals and the musicians (gayan) play the horizontally held khol drums. The player of the pati tal (cymbals) and singer is Mr. Govinda Sandra Oja and the khol drum player Mr. Madhob Sandra Boroah Bayon. Both are senior artists and monks (bhakat-s) and from the Hindu Vaishnava monastic community at Auniati Satra. The artists belong to the Assamese community and Assamese belongs to the north Indian language group.

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