Wednesday, December 30, 2020



The jaapi or japi is a traditional conical hat from Assam, India similar to the Asian conical hat which is made from tightly woven bamboo and/or cane and tokou paat  a large, palm leaf. The word jaapi derives from jaap meaning a bundle of taku leaves. In the past, plain jaapi were used by ordinary people in Assam and by farmers for protection from the sun, while ornate jaapi were worn as a status symbol by royalty and nobility. Decorative sorudoi jaapi are made with intricate cloth designs (primarily red, white, green, blue, and black) that are integrated into the weaving.

Today the jaapi is a symbol of Assam. It is worn in a style of Bihu dance, used as protection against the elements, offered as a sign of respect in ceremonies, and placed as a decorative item around the house, especially in the walls as a welcome sign.

Originally Japi was an agricultural headgear by farmers to protect themselves from rain or sun's heat. The Bodo-Kacharis having agricultural as the main profession often used them in the rice fields. Similar headgears are also seen to be used all throughout East Asia. Bishnu Prasad Rabha added Japi dance to Assamese culture through Jaymati movie from Bodo community's Khofri Sibnai Mwsanai.It is also well known that brides of the Chutia tribe(a branch of Bodo-Kacharis) wore a Sorudoi Japi during the marriage ceremonies which was continued up until recently.

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