All you need to know about - Assamese Gamosa

Assamese Gamosa
  • Gamosha is made manually in the villages of Assam. Assamese Gamosa is mostly woven out of white threads with colourful and intricate inlays in red. While a normal Gamosa is sold at ₹100, the designer ones range between ₹300 to 1500.
  • In a village near Lakhimpur, almost half of the villagers -- mostly women -- can be seen weaving Gamosa and other traditional dresses by hand-operated wooden looms.
  • Assamese Gamosa, which has been worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his public rallies in the poll-bound state, is one of the most easily recognisable cultural symbols of the Assamese people, besides 'Tamol Pan' (Areca nut and betel leaf).
  • Gamocha is also known as 'Bihuwaan' as it is an essential part of the Bihu festival. The government of Assam has made an act to save these handloom workers, according to the Handloom Reservation Act, 2010.
  • The gamosa has traversed beyond Assam — to Delhi (on account of being Prime Minister Modi’s favourite accessory) to the tracks of Finland (when athlete Hima Das won her historic gold in July 2018) and even to outer space (when NASA astronaut Mike Fincke — married to an Assamese — performed Bihu aboard the International Space Station in 2004).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made the ubiquitous gamosa, a decorative cotton towel, evolve from memento to mask.
  • Cultural historians say the gamosa came to symbolise Assamese nationalism in 1916 when the Asom Chatra Sanmilan, a students’ organisation was formed, followed by the Assam Sahitya Sabha, a literary body. Wearing the phulam gamosa around the neck became a standard for cultural identity.