From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Assamese Gamosa
Mains level : Not Much
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the Assamese gamosa, a decorative cotton towel, evolve from memento to mask.
- The Gamosa is an article of significance for the people of Assam.
- It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth (in addition to red, other colors are also used).
- Although cotton yarn is the most common material for making/weaving gamosas, there are special occasion ones made from Pat silk.
- Assam has traditionally had two types of gamosas the uka and the phulam.
- The uka or plain kind is used to wipe sweat or dry the body after a bath.
- The phulam is decorated with floral motifs to be gifted as a memento or during festivals such as Bihu.
- 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.
- Thegamosa’s graph as a symbol of protest rose during the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation from 1979 to 1985.
- The gamosa staged a comeback as a political statement with the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from mid-December 2019.