Gagana; jew's harp

Trump (jew's harp) of 'jatibah' bamboo (Bambusa tilda Roxb.) that grows on Majuli. Local name: 'gogona' (Assamese) recorded by the collector, Rolf Killius ('gaganā' - New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (ed. S. Sadie, London: Macmillan, Vol 2, p. 4). Two slips of bambo are inserted in the frame on either side of the tongue to adjust the width of the gap between the frame and the tongue. Used in Bihu (Assamese agricultural festival) dance by girls during a particular part of the dance.

The gagana is played by girls and is only used during part of the Rangali Bihu festival dance, performed at the Assamese New Year. The bamboo is shaped with a knife and a razor blade.

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