DMTX. People from the Tiwa community catching fish during the “Community Fishing” and Tiwa women exchanging their commodities by barter system, as part of the ‘Jonbeel Mela’ at Jonbeel lake in the ong
People from the Tiwa community catching fish during the “Community Fishing” and Tiwa women exchanging their commodities by barter system, as part of the ‘Jonbeel Mela’ at Jonbeel lake in the ongoing 3 day long traditional bartering fair. Jagiroad, Guwahati, India. 22/01/2010.
Hundreds of tribal people gather in the bazaar to exchange their commodities with other people. The festival is organized to enable plain and hill tribes of the region to exchange commodities . The mela takes its name from the lake next to which its is celebrated, the Jonbeel.
This spectacular fair is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagiroad, a lesser known township, only 32 kms from Guwahati. A few days before the mela, tribes like the Tiwas, Karbis, Khasi and Jaintias from the Meghalaya hills come down with various products with which to barter. On the occasion a big bazar is held where the tribes exchange their products with local people in barter system very rarely seen in today's modern societies.
Before the mela they perform fire worship or agni puja for the well being of mankind. During the mela the 'govaraja' or the king of the Tiwa tribe, along with his courtiers, visits this mela and collects taxes from his subjects. The particular significance of the mela is its theme of harmony and brotherhood amongst various tribes and communities. During the 'mela' these communities perform their traditional dances and music in order to celebrate the fair in a befitting manner.