Text Box: Doba



              The method of playing the Doba is simple, the Kobani is  hit with the sticks with both hands. The pace or Loy of playing Doba initially increases, reaches the climax and then falls down. Doba is mounted on a Bamboo or wooden frame, in a slightly inclined position. The Doba player can play it in standing position

         Doba, in an half egg shaped instrument, resembling Nagera , but significantly larger. The body or the Khola of Doba is made of metal or wood. Sometime earthen Dobas are also seen. A small hole is made at the bottom of the khola. According to the boo ‘ Badya Abhigyan’ the sound of Doba becomes deeper and louder because of this hole. The open face of the Khola is covered with Deer Skin, sometime buffalo skin is also used. There is a frame towards the bottom of the Doba and the Skin is tied with that. The strings used are called Boroti .  There is a large stitch along the periphery of the skin or the Kobani, to facilitate attaching the Boroti. No ‘Ghun’ ( or Syahi as in Tabla) is applied to the Kobani. Two bow shaped wooden sticks of approximately two feet in  length are used to play the Doba.

Doba is not generally accompanied with any music playing Doba is rather considered as a auspicious function. Generally in Naam-Ghars, Xatras and temples, Doba is played only at definite time and for definite purpose. Traditionally , Doba is being played in Naam-Ghar’s in the morning and evening. After completion of ‘ Naam- Praxanga’ Doba is played along with Xongkho, Ghonta. Käh, etc. to create an spiritual and holy atmosphere. Again Doba is played to convey messages to the mass. Doba played in odd time indicates an emergency call to assemble.

The Xatras Doba is played in different festivals to start a sanctified ceremony. In Bhäona and Gayan – Bayan , Doba is and important instrument, played at the vital moments to create the effect. The Sound of Doba is believed to scare away ghost, and other omens.  In the Xatras an employee named ‘ Dobadhari’ is entrusted with playing Doba. In Naam-Ghars the Namghariya ( The priest) himself plays it. The act of Dobadri making four sounds of Doba in the morning  is known as ‘ Saridär’ , in the Xatras, which is considered as a vital activity.

According to Dr. Devajit Saikia, in Majuli, the heart of Assamese vaisnavite culture, Doba is accompanied with Nagera in Thiyo-naam, This might as well be the only instance of Doba being used as an accompanying instrument.

Doba is an instrument related to religious life of the Assamese People. In almost all religious institutions such as, Naam-ghar. The Xatras, ancient temples etc. Doba is played. In every Naam- Ghar of rural Assam, one will invariably find a Doba. The elegant sound of Doba played at a definite time everyday, creates an genteel and holy ambience in the villages, and reminds people of the time as well.  It is difficult to estimate since when the Doba is played in Assam, however, it may be assured of that  it is an ancient musical instrument. Though the usage are different, some people believe that Doba is a modified  from of ancient Communication drums. The larger than life, heavy sound of Doba attracts everyone’s attention easily. Doba has a particular   significance on the life of rural people. Doba played at the Naam-ghor , implies arrival of the evening and time to be back home.

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1. Badya Abhigyan ; Dr. Devajit Saikia – Axom Naam Xamaroh udjapon xomiti- Auniaati Xatra

 1. Namghoriya ; NEEPCO Namghar– Duliajan