Text Box: NEGERA / NAGARA

Class : Membranophone

 

             In Upper Assam the pair of Nagaras are played with two small bamboo stick the playing end of which is formed to rounded bulges. While in Lower Assam Nagara is played with sticks as well as bare hand.

                 The Body of the Nagara should be made of Pottery Clay, however , they are very brittle and hence metals like brass etcare used now a days. the Nagara is half-egg shpaed with the wide end open. the open end is covered with Goat Skin and tied firmly with lather strips called Boroti. The main Nagara used in Lower Assam may be upto 25 inches in diameter (in teh open end) , while the paired Nagaras Upper Assam are smaller, the larger one in around 12 inches and smaller one is about 7/8 inches.  Apart from the above, several different size of Nagaras are found if different parts of Assam , and known as Maha Nagara, Bor- Nagara, Kurkuri etc.

            

            Differences are observed in useand size of Negara between upper and lower Assam. In lower Assam style of Nagera Naam, the content ( basically religious) is expressed through a complete and combined performance of song, dance and acting. Ramacharan Thakuria pointed out Nagera Naam is a exceptional folk perfomance  combining  Songs, ballads, dance, speech and Instruments . Bhortaal is played with nagera  in the Lower Assam, and Nagera is played in Thyo naam and other dance forms. Sizewise the Nageras uswed in Lower Assam are quite bigger than those in Upper Assam.

             The Upper Assam a apir of Nageras are played together- looking at the mass apeal that nagera provides, it can be assumed that the Nagera Naam was developped utilised to spread the religious and phylosophical ideologies to the common people. An isntrument like nagera caled Dundubhi has its mention in old Indian literature, however in Assam , it is knows as nagera since ages.

             Apart from that, in upper Assam , a nagera called nach Nagera is seen to be used, to assit dancers with Nagera Naam. Different Malitas of Dhol speak about the origin of Nach Nagera . In Lower Assam, a tiny sized Nagera called Kurkuri is accompanied while palying the  main Nagera.

 

                            Nagera is an earthen ( generally ) small size paired drum, a tradidional musical instrument of Assam and nagera is considred to be an holy instrument. Nagera is a indispensable instrument for various folk songs of Asam , particularly of  the religious genre,  and hence very popular in the rural society. After Mahapurux Sankardeva, the vaishnavite phylosophy got deeply rooted it the culture of Rural Assam , which led to evolvement of several religiious musical forms , but the spirit of traditonal music of the resion remained in them.  Negara adds some passion to religious music and thats why loved by the  mass. instruments with similar name are found in different folk cultures like Sikhs etc, but the construction and art of playing Assamese Negara and its usage are entirely different. A style of semi religious folk songs are called naegra naam, beacause of using nagera as the principal accompanying instrument , is very popular across Assam and performed in different festivals.

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1. Oxomor Badyajontro – Sri Dharmeswar Duwara- Bani Mandir

2. Badya Abhgyan– Dr. Debajit Saikia, Axon\m Naam Xamaroh Udjapon Xamiti—Sri Sri Auniati Xatra

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