‘Documentation of folktales, oral history and other narrative forms of Singpho community folklore in the State of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh of India’ (2017-2019)
The above project is being implemented by the Institute of Research & Documentation of Indigenous Studies, IRDIS, Guwahati, Assam, under the financial assistance of Indian Council of Historical Research, ICHR, New Delhi, in the Tinsukia district of Assam and in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, both the districts being predominantly inhabited by Singpho people.
The Singpho community in India do not have written documentation on their history, their routes of migration, about their customs, traditions and rituals, beliefs and their traditional knowledge. However, all these facts are preserved in their oral folklore which has been communicated from generation to generation and embedded in their folk tales, oral history, and other oral narrative forms. In the absence of written documentation in oral communication, we have to rely entirely on the older generations of the community for relating the stories, recitations, and songs which are a storehouse of knowledge related to the concerned community.
The field work teams carried out audio recordings of the oral narrations of the Singpho community senior members, both menfolk and womenfolk, in the two States of India, viz, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The audio recordings that were done in the Singpho language were first translated to Assamese and then to English. The final report that shall contain the audio recordings and the translations in English of various oral traditions of the Singpho community viz folklore, cultural traditions, their routes of migration, and their traditional knowledge is being completed soon for submission to ICHR.
An Ethnographic study on the Mottock community of Assam (2016-18)
The project on: “An Ethnographic study on the Matak community of Assam” has been carried out by the Institute of Research and Documentation of Indigenous Studies, Assam, under the aegis of the Assam Institute of Research for Tribals and Scheduled Castes of Assam, AIRTSC, Government of Assam, Khanapara, Assam. The project was carried out in consultation and guidance of the researchers, cultural experts, and the learned and experienced senior members of the Matak community in the Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Assam.
Seminar cum workshop series on the threatened and dying Cultural traditions of the ethnic communities in the Karbi Anglong, Morigaon and Goalpara districts of Assam (2016-17)
‘Seminar cum Workshop on the Culture and the threatened cultural traditions of the Tiwa community of Morigaon district of Assam’
The above Seminar cum Workshop was held at the premises of Jagiroad Higher Secondary School, Jagiroad in the Morigaon district of Assam, on 11th of June 2016. Morigaon district is the primary habitat of the Tiwa community. The response of the members of the Tiwa community towards the Seminar cum Workshop at Jagiroad was overwhelming with the active participation of members of a number of social, cultural and literary Tiwa organizations; cultural and social experts belonging to the Tiwa community; Tiwa researchers and educationists as well as members from the Tiwa Royal Kingdom.
The Inaugural and the welcome speech was delivered by Dr. Deepa Dutt, Executive Director, IRDIS.
The first session of the Seminar was chaired by Sri Lalsing Madar, President Tiwa Sahitya Sabha. The appointed resource persons for the Seminar cum Workshop were Shri Moheswar Pastor, Ex-President Tiwa Sahitya Sabha, and Shri Jursing Bordoloi, researcher and cultural expert.
The second session of the seminar was chaired by Sri Bidyut Senapati, General Secretary Tiwa Sahitya Sabha. The resource persons for the second session were Smt Ramuthi Amsi, educationist and writer and Shri Subhen Bordoloi, President Tiwa Cultural Society.
Dr. Dutt in her closing remarks elaborated on the various aspects of the Tiwa culture, dwelt on certain threat perceptions related to their culture and applauded the various initiatives and efforts taken up by the Tiwa community for the revival, resurgence, and preservation of their traditional cultures and practices.
The Seminar cum workshop on “The culture and the threatened cultural traditions of the Rabha, Hajong and Garo Communities of Goalpara District”.
The two sessions of the Seminar cum workshop were chaired by Dr. Jibeshwar Koch. The appointed resource persons for the Seminar were Shri Biswanath Rabha, Former Secretary of Rabha Sahitya Sabha; Dr. Tharsus K. Sangma, Member Garo Sahitya Sabha; and Shri Kanuram Hajong, President of Hajong Sahitya Sabha. The resource persons made elaborate presentations and conducted discourses on the Rabha, Garo and Hajong communities respectively.
At the close of the Seminar, Dr. Deepa Dutt, Executive Director , IRDIS, elaborated on the various aspects of the social and cultural traditions related to the Rabha, Garo and Hajong communities, briefly dwelt on the possible threats towards their socio-cultural traditions, traditional knowledge and way of life of the communities and applauded their attempts to preserve their culture and cultural practices. Dr. Dutt expressed her gratitude to the Rabha, Garo, and Hajong cultural practitioners for having come together in a common platform to deliberate on the various topics of the respective communities.
Shri Apurba Jibon Baruah IPS ( Ret’d), advisor to IRDIS, stressed the importance of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Rabha, Garo and Hajong communities in its pristine form and lauded the initiative of IRDIS in its unique endeavour to bring the three communities to a common platform to deliberate on their culture and the threatened cultural traits in order to bring about awareness and collaborative efforts at documenting their rich cultural heritage for posterity. The vote of thanks was offered by Smti. Sanchita Bora Rongpipi, Secretary IRDIS.
The Seminar cum workshop on “The culture and the threatened cultural traditions of the Karbi, Dimasa and Kuki Communities of Karbi Anglong District”.
The Seminar cum Workshop at was held at the premises of Jirsong Asong, Don Bosco Institute, Diphu, in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam on 21st of April 2017. The Seminar was conducted in two sessions. Both the sessions of the Seminar cum workshop were chaired and moderated by Shri Dharamsing Teron, writer and Director of the Centre for Karbi Studies. The appointed resource persons for the Seminar were Dr. Paul Chonzik, Head of the Department of History, Assam University Diphu Campus, from the Kuki community; Dr. Motilal Nunisa from the Dimasa community; and Shri Sikari Tisso from the Karbi community.
After the presentations made by the resource persons, the chairperson opened up the session for questions and answers and an interaction session. The question-answer and the interaction sessions brought out many salient and interesting features related to the topic of the Seminar and brought forth animated responses. The discourses expressed the apprehensions at the gradual changes that have, crept in with time, the reasons thereof, and the genuine fear that these changes may herald the extinction of their true cultural practices, traditions, and beliefs. The interaction sessions laid particular stress on the distortions and the erroneous depiction of the cultural practices and beliefs of the three communities and resolved to spread awareness of this problem through such discussions and discourses as held in the Seminar cum Workshop so that remedial measures could be taken to reverse the process.
Tiwa Culture and Traditions – Documentation and Data Collection (2015 to date)
The project on the “Tiwa Culture and Traditions—Documentation and data collection” is an initiative of the Institute of Research & Documentation of Indigenous Studies, IRDIS, under the aegis of ICH Scheme, Sangeet Natak Academi, New Delhi, to bring to focus the rich and diverse cultural traditions of the Tiwa community by way of documentation and data collection in collaboration and in partnership with the elderly, youth and womenfolk of the Tiwa community residing in Assam and Meghalaya. The goal of the project is to document their culture, beliefs, customs, oral traditions, and traditional knowledge which have been communicated from generation to generation and which have been threatened and on the verge of dying out with the passing of time.
Ethnographic Study on the Singpho community of Assam (2015-16)
The project on ‘An Ethnographic study on the Singpho community’ was carried out by the Institute of Research and Documentation of Indigenous Studies, Assam, under the aegis of the Assam Institute of Research for Tribals and Scheduled Castes of Assam, AIRTSC, Khanapara, Assam during 2015-16 in the remote Singpho villages of Tinsukia district in Assam.
The field study for the project has been conducted by IRDIS in partnership with the members of the Singpho community within the community premises in the Singpho villages of Inthem, Ketetong, Bisagaon, Dibong, Bahbari of the Margherita subdivision of Tinsukia district of Assam. The women and the menfolk of the Singpho community, the youth and the community elders, all extended full support and guidance and provided all the information that was necessary for the successful completion of this project.