This book tries to unfold the rich cultural heritage of the Boro-Kachari Tribe of Northeast India. All the tribal communities of Northeast India are very colorful and vibrant with their unique lifestyle. Textile garments of all the tribal communities of this region represent some specialty of their own. The Boro-Kacharis also wear specially designed textile materials with varied colors. Their women are expert weavers and prepare all the necessary dress materials in handlooms till today. Their dresses have been beautifully designed by themselves with traditional and modern motifs. Rearing and spinning of silk are the most ancient tradition of the Boro women. Boro women use handmade unstitched dress covering the whole body from shoulder to foot (ankle) which display beautiful motifs all over the body. This book has given a vivid picture of the Boro culture with special reference to their famous perennial designs of textile. It is a matter of pride for Boro women to make their own cloth in their traditional handloom and key's fly shuttle even at this age of machine made goods.
Dr. Rani Kakati Hazarika is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University. She is specialized in Social Anthropology and got her Ph.D. Degree from Gauhati University on the topic "Urbanization and Social Change : A Study of Assamese Culture with reference to Guwahati". She is the author of a textbook for graduate level students of Gauhati University in Anthropology. She has published a number of research papers in different books and journals covering Boro, Rabha and Jiwa tribal communities of Assam.
Ms. Kabita Boro passed M.Sc. in Anthropology from Gauhati University. She is specialized in Social Anthropology. At present, she is doing her Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology on 'Socio- economic Life of the Boros of Tangla area, Assam'.
It is with great pleasure we place before the scholars and cultural connoisseurs a monograph on Textile Designs of the Boros of Northeast India written by Rani Hazarika Kakati and Kabita Boro as Number Three of our series on Intangible Cultural Heritage of India. The Boros, (also known as Bodos), have a glorious past ruling over a vast area of the present northeast. They have been in the news during the last few decades for their movement for separate statehood. They area also known for their rich cultural splendours including their textile traditions. While handlooms and cloths made thereof are a common feature among various ethnic groups of northeastern India, it may not be an exaggeration to say that the textile designs of the Boros are also an important marker of their identity. The present volume has some important features. First, it is the outcome of a documentation of Boro textile designs under the heading (a) Arnai design, (b) Chader and Shawl design, (c) Dhokna Langa design (d) Dokhra Ogrong design, (e) Gamcha design and (f) Phali design- by two women scholars from northeast India- Rani Hazarika Kakati, a faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University, Guwahati and Kabita Boro, a research scholar of the same department. Thus, it is a study of two women scholars on an aspect of heritage associated with tribal women of northeast India. Second, while anthropology is usually considered as a study of the 'other', in the present case, particularly the second author (Kabita Boro) is herself a Boro. Thus, in a way, it is the study of 'us' and not of 'them'. This may be regarded as an example of ethnography in a post-colonial situation where the subaltern is his/her own spokesperson. Third, the textile designs are culturally embedded and best appreciated in their context.
I once again, congratulate Dr. Kakati and Ms. Boro for readily agreeing to write their monograph for us when I met them in Guwahati in September, 2005. I also thank to Dr. R.S. Shukla of Pratibha Prakasan, Delhi for publishing it within a short period.
I is sincerely hoped that the readers would find the work interesting.
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