Majuli earns GI tag for its traditional arts of mask-making and manuscript painting


Majuli’s Mukha Shilpa (Mask Making), and Manuscript Painting have secured the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

This was announced after several levels of scrutiny done by the Government of India.

Mukha Shilpa, or mask making, is an ancient craft deeply intertwined with the rich traditions and culture of Majuli.

Rooted in the mediaeval ages, Saint Sankaradeva, a multifaceted figurine and reformer, introduced Neo-Vaishnavism to the region.

To propagate his devotion to Lord Krishna, he incorporated various art forms like painting, dance, music, and theatrical performances. The culmination of these efforts resulted in ‘Bhaona,’ an Assamese dance drama where masks play a pivotal role, depicting characters from Mahabharata and Ramayana.

These masks are having a unique essence of indigenous socio-religious culture, and morphologically represent the high resourcefulness of the local materials and the theme of Vaisnavism.

Manuscript paintings flourished in Assam in the 16th Century AD under the leadership of the great Vaisnava Saint, Srimanta Sankardeva.

The paintings of the Bhagavata Purana mainly concentrate to depict different stories and events related to the supreme God Lord Krishna.

Gargayan script, Kaithall and Bamunia are three styles of manuscript writing which are popular in this region.