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Majuli Island

"The dusty, muted browns and the verdurous greens give Majuli a fantastical feel. The journey itself is magical and ethereal, with the people being the magicians, and the stories, the spells."

- photographer Zishaan Akbar

"The dusty, muted browns and the verdurous greens give Majuli a fantastical feel. The journey itself is magical and ethereal, with the people being the magicians, and the stories, the spells."

- photographer Zishaan Akbar

SHOWCASE

  • BEENA WORKING ON AN ASSAMESE GAMCHCHA

    A 25 year old weaver, has been making the traditional Assamese gamchcha since the age of 15. It is essentially a coarse, cotton towel that’s worn over the shoulder or tied around the head.

    • 9549
      Red Wood
  • STEPPING OUT FOR A LITTLE FROLIC

    He loves to play in the open fields and along the backwaters of the island with his friends. When he is not helping his father fish by the lake, he’s busy slaying an imaginary raakshas or wrestling on the grass.

    • 8573
      Mochaccino
  • LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN!

    The locals flock to Dariya Par to witness the vibrant and colourful Majuli Mahotsav. The locals mostly use cycles and boats to ferry themselves around the river island.

    • 9126
      Splendour
  • CULTIVATING THE CULTURE OF DANCE

    Majuli Island happens to be a centre for art and cultural studies. This captivating dance being performed at the Majuli Mahotsav is known as Gumrag. This folk dance endemic to Assam depicts a day in the life of a tea plucker.

    • 8093
      Pure Red
  • IT'S ALL PLAY AND NO WORK

    While the men of the family fish by the lake, this little lad decided to give the daily task a pass and wander and play with his friends.

    • 7326
      Soothing Sapphire
  • PURE AND WHITE

    Dating back to 1663 A.D, Auniati Satra in Majuli is home to 550 young boys who practice celibacy and have promised to devote their entire life to only thinking about God. The purity of their souls is reflected in the simple white attire they adorn. They sing bhajans, are well-versed with the Satriya dance of Assam, and carry forth the rich cultural legacy of this age-old Ashram.

    • L107
      Virgin Lace
  • THE DAY JOB

    This wife of a young potter crafts wares to earn her family’s bread and butter. While she creates the wares for sale, her husband helps in gathering the material. They belong to the Hira community, and create one-of-a-kind pottery where they do not use the pottery wheel.

    • 8248
      Moon Crater
  • UNMASKED

    Majuli’s rustic charm is enchanting, and so are the art & craft traditions of this river island! These colourful, traditional, eye-catching masks are created and sold at Chamo Guri Satra. They also arrange for exciting masked dances for a curious audience!

    • 7368
      Thunder Bay
  • A LITTLE BIT OF APPRECIATION GOES A LONG WAY

    “A lot of hard work goes into making one mask, I don’t want anybody to buy it, they should just appreciate my art!” – Mask Artist, Chamo Guri Satra, Majuli

    • 8550
      Earth Song
  • JUST HELPING OUT

    Being a river island, the soil of Majuli Island is rich andfertile making it perfect for farming. Here a child is seen carrying riceseedlings to be planted in the lush farms of the island.

    • 7725
      Fresh Olive
  • A PEACEFUL START TO THE DAY

    Farmers’ days start early as they set out to their daily chores. Life here is peaceful and the untouched natural beauty will leave you captivated. Vast expanses of fields line up the bright Majuli countryside!

    • 7997
      Deep Spice
  • DANCE TO YOUR HEART'S TUNES

    Gumrag folk dancers at Majuli Island take a small break in between acts. The dancers intrigued onlookers by dancing to the rhythmic thump of the dhols on a stage made of bamboo sticks. Draped in striking red attire, gumrag dancers resemble fluttering butterflies while dancing!

    • 8085
      Scarlet
  • THE STAPLE FOOD

    Potatoes are amajor source of income for her family and she was happy that the produce thistime was good. Potatoes are also part of the staple diet of the people of Majuli Island.

    • 9405
      Rich Tomato
  • THE HEALER

    This 80 year old Assamese woman, Poya Narah , may be the mostimportant woman of the Mising tribe that lives on Majuli Island. Poya Narah is a healer and thelocal people rely on her to cure young children from walking diseases. Sheperforms certain tribal rituals and is said to clean the path for better healthby using chants. She is from Bhatiyamari village around the island.

    • 9207
      Aqua Young
  • TRADITIONAL MEKHELA WEAVING

    Hira Mai Nora is only 15 and has been weaving for two yearsnow. She is from the Mising tribe and she isweaving a traditional ‘Mekhela ’. Mekhela Chador is thetraditional dress worn by the women of Assam. Mekhela is the bottom portion of the dress and is wrappedaround like a sarong with pleats and is complemented with the top-half Chador.

    • 0R05
      Mahogany
  • ALL IN A DAY’S WORK.

    At lower Majuli, in a village called Selek Sapori, a man is headingout to fish for his daily bread and butter. Sometimes, they have to return homeempty handed, and do not get food for that day. They have to make sure their day’s work is fruitful so that their familydoes not sleep on an empty stomach.

    • 8646
      Java beans
  • WORK NEVER CEASES!

    A local Assamese farmer from the Mising tribe works her waythrough the misty cold morning in Majuli Island. When asked if she doesn’t get bothered by thecold, pat came her reply, “If I want to fill my family’s stomachs, I have tobear the harsh sun and even the pricking cold.”

    • 7717
      Vivid Green
  • SUNSHINE, LUSH FIELDS, HAPPINESS, AND MORE…

    While picturesque mustard fields line the horizon,children enjoy their play time. In Bhatiyamari, Majuli, free time is ampleand the bright yellow of the mustard fields beat away all the blues. How about planning a trip to Majuli island to explore itcolours like Asian Paints Colour Journey did?

    • 7829
      Summer Fern
  • A DOTING GRANDPA AND A NAUGHTY GRANDSON!

    A little boy blows up a balloon to celebrate hisbirthday. In the Payeng family home invillage Bargayan, the air smelled ofcelebration as the child’s favourite Biryani was cooked for him,and his doting grandfather got him a shiny blue cap as a birthday present. I’mgoing to burst the balloon after blowing it up, he said.

    • X122
      Rich Rouge

    PALLETTE

    Majuli Island
    • 7830
      Lemonade
    • 7177
      Vivid Green
    • 7886
      Botanica
    • 8125
      Wild Prune
    • 7199
      Grape
    • 9228
      Solitude

    PROFILE

    ZISHAAN AKBAR
    Photographer

    Ever since Zishaan Akbar Latif graduated from Sydenham College, Mumbai in 2005, he has been pursuing photography. His work has been published in The Times (London), The Daily Telegraph (Australia), The Sun (Australia), BusinessWeek and Brand Equity-Economic Times (India) and more such publications. He has worked as a photographer for the movie 3 Idiots, with the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Save The Children (India) to name a few.

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