Why in the News?
- The Bangla Sahitya Sabha, Assam (BSSA) has recently felicitated guests at a function with “hybrid gamosas” made up of Assamese Gamocha and Bengali Gamchas cut in half and sewn together. The organization issued an apology after a controversy erupted.
- Assamese Gamocha is a traditional handwoven cotton towel, which is an integral part of Assamese culture and tradition.
- It Is a rectangular piece of cloth. The towel comes in various colors and designs, and the most popular among them are the red and white ones with a Phulam known as the ‘Gamocha design’.
- The word ‘Gamocha’ Is derived from the Assamese word ‘Ga’ (body) and ‘Mocha’ (wipe), which means a towel to wipe the body. The weavers use a traditional loom called the ‘Taat Xaal’ to weave the towel
- The Assamese Gamocha has gained national and international recognition for its unique design and cultural significance. It was granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, which is a recognition of its origin and unique characteristics.
- The GI tag ensures that the Gamocha is protected from imitations and helps to promote the local weavers and their traditional weaving techniques.
- The Assamese Gamocha is a symbol of Assamese culture and tradition. The towel is used in various ways in daily life, and each use has a specific cultural significance.
- It is used as a headscarf by women during traditional ceremonies and functions, and it is a sign of respect and honor when it is presented to someone as a gift.
- The Gamocha Is also used during the Bihu festival, which is the most important festival of Assam. It is draped around the neck of the Bihu dancers, and it is an essential part of their costume. The towel is also used as a symbol of unity and brotherhood during the Bihu festival.