We all are quite selfish sometimes. We only want to upgrade ourselves and do not care about the forgotten cultures of our society. Today, I am introducing an indigenous community, which is unknown to many of us.
This is all about Rabha or Rava. You can find them in the Indian state of Assam, Meghalaya and northern part of West Bengal.
I am basically from Dooars ( a place in northern West Bengal, surrounded by forests and tea gardens). In my 15 years in Dooars, I met people from different cultures and Rabha was one of them.
Culture and Religion:
Rabhas are actually Indo-Mongoloid group of people. They have different cultural rituals. In this particular community, we can mark two groups, the first one, people who stay at forest villages (actually forest villagers) and the other one, who all stay at normal villages as cultivators.
Rabha forest villagers follow animistic rituals. But, the cultivators have already adopted rituals from Hinduism, though it has some animistic touch.
This particular tribe uses two dialects to express their feelings. These two are Maituri and Rongdani.
Traditional Rabha dress:
It is not so easy to find a Rabha girl wearing their traditional clothes in West Bengal these days. I was so lucky that I caught it on my camera once in Kalchini (a place in Dooars area).
This community has a very unique sense of dressing. Rabha women wear Koum Kontong and Kambang. Koum Kontong is like a wrapped skirt and Kombang is a piece of clothe to cover their upper body. Sometimes, they wear traditional accessories.
On the other hand, Rabha men’s wear is all about Dhoti and Gamosa.
In this 21st century, many people from this indigenous community are going out of their villages and adopting city life and culture. Though, there are some Rabhas still maintaining their tradition and culture.
North East India is a place where you can find many cultures like Rabha and they all are unique in themselves.