Bhaona – Traditional Religious Plays of Assam:
Bhaona forms the traditional art of popular theatre performed in Assam. It usually has religious content based on the scriptures of Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeya. When presented in the form of a play it is called Ankiya Nat and their staging is called Bhaona. These are usually performed at the satras in village and urban setting in Assam. Masks, costumes and jewellery form an important part of presenting the different characters of the play.
During a Bhaona play, the Sutradhari is the person who recites the shlokas, sings and dances and explains in prose at the different stages and messages of the Bhaona. The Gayan are the singers and Bayan are the percussionist and the instrumentalist who perform during the Bhaona.
Kolang Kala Kendra – Nagaon:
Driving from Guwahati at a distance of 120 km along national highway NH37 to Nagaon town, one reaches the traffic island and takes to bypass road and heads towards another 5 kms to Puranigodam, one can easily miss the signboard announcing the location of the Kolang Kala Kendra, an art centre and mini museum set up by a registered cultural organization by this name at Nagaon.
The museum is a curious collection of contemporary art presented along with a Stone and terracotta artefacts, wooden sculpture, mask making and an invaluable collection of palm leaf manuscripts of vaishnavite scriptures forming the display in a homely ambience. It goes to the credit of Shri. Chittaronjan Boara, who generously came forward to set up this collection at his ancestral home that, is now a Public Museum. Shri Chittronjan Bora is the Secretary of Kolang Kala Kendra.
Traditional Mask Making:
It was kind of Shri. Chitaronjan Bora and his colleague Shri Sarmah to organize a demonstration of the craft of traditional mask making of Assam theatrical performance of ‘Bhaona’. It was a commitment a group of arts enthusiast had taken up in earnest to revive the art and craft of Traditional craft related to theatre at this historical and cultural city of Nagoan.