Sutuli is a clay-baked wind instrument. This half-moon-shaped, musical instrument falls under the category of Susira Vadya (wind instrument) of Indian musical instruments.
Sutuli, an indigenous folk instrument draws inspiration from nature. It emulates the sound of a wild bird-kuli in Assamese or more popularly known as ‘koel’ in Hindi. As dance groups gather in open spaces to celebrate the arrival of spring during Rongali Bihu, the sound of kuli, as many folk tales and folk songs suggest is the sound most sought amongst natives.
It is made of one type of special clay. Generally, it is hollow half-moon-shaped part. Its length is about 12 cm. Round-shaped Sutuli (diameter of about 10cm) are also found in some villages. It has a hole in the middle to produce the whistling sound by blowing air into it. There are three holes on its body to control the tune, which the per- former uses to manipulate the sound.
Although popularly used in other regions while singing the Bihu songs, its use in the upper Assam region is relatively rare. Its Swara activity is also very limited. The Moran tribe of Assam generally use Sutuli made of bamboo, not clay.
The Steps involved in the preparation of Sutuli are shown below: