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Previous Year Question & Answers | APSC Mains 2016

Q. Write a short note on Gamosa and its significance in Assamese society?


Gamosa is one of the most easily recognisable cultural symbols of the Assamese people. cotton yarn is the most common material for making/weaving gamosas. The word gamosa is derived from the Kamrupi word gamsa, the cloth used to cover the Bhagavad Purana at the altar.

  • Assamese Gamosa is mostly woven out of white threads with colourful and intricate inlays in red.
  • It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth
  • Although cotton yarn is the most common material for making/weaving gamosas, there are special occasion ones made from Pat silk.
  • It is also used as wiping cloths by the shepherds while grazing the cattle herds and by the farming people. It is worn also as headgears in the paddy fields and also at the time of fishing.
Significance in Assamese Society:
  • The gamosa symbolizes the life and culture of Assam and it has been used during various cultural activities.
  • On the occasion of Bihu, Gamosa is gifted known as Bihuwan. It is also to facilitate during various functions as mark of respect. Guests are welcomed with the offering of a gamusa and tamul.
  • It also hold importance in religious affairs. It is universally used in all Namghors. It is used to cover the altar at the prayer hall or cover the scriptures.
  • Selling gamsa in the market is a kind livelihood for many people in Assam. Gamsa is also considered as an important aspect of women empowerment.


Conclusion:  Gamosa has many important significance in the life of the people of assam. Assamese culture is strongly attached to the gamosa, with historical references and its use in traditional activities, temples, Bihu celebrations and felicitations.

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