Cultural Art Forms
The Barpeta town as well as District is rich in cultural art from both ethnic and non-ethnic. The great cultural ambassador Srimanta Sankardeva contributed a great deal in creating different art forms that became integral part of Assamese culture.
Devotional songs composed by Mahapurush Shrimanta Sankardeva and Mahapurush Sri Madhab Deva are still popular in this region and a research center for it.
Shrimanta Sankardeva and Sri Madhab Deva composed Ankiyageet for ankiya-nats ( Bhaowna) or plays. These are sung on special occasions like Doul festival, anniversaries of the two gurus and other festivals.
Holigeet are the unique form of chorus songs that originated in Barpeta satra and spread throughout the state. These are sung during the Doul festival.
Kamrupi Loka geet is popular form of folk music that expresses thoughts and emotion of the common people. These songs are sung from time immemorial by various people of earstwhile undivided Kamrup district.
Beside this various forms of songs linking the day to day activities are also popular like biya(marriage) geet,now khelor(boat race) geet, maha-kheda (mosquito driveout) geet, lora-dhemalir(child’s play) geet, boroshi bowa (fishing) geet, nisukoni (lallabye) geet , various forms of bihu geet, Deh bicharar Geet, andThiya-Nam (songs of Prayer sung standing and Dancing in Group),
Shrimanta Sankdardeva popularised the Satriya nritya among the common people, Satriya Dance is a form of give prayer to supreme god. Now Satriya dance is clubing in a Indian Classical Dance form. Other dance form that the guru popularised (now included in Satriya Dance) are Krishna nritya, Kalidaman nritya, Dasavatara nritya(ten incarnation of Vishnu) , Jhumura nritya, Sali nritya, Sutradhari nritya, Gopi nritya Raja Nritya, Rani nritya etc. which are performed in the Satras.
Ojapali, a form of satriya dance which mainly describe the character of God and Guru’s is a popular dance form among the people . Ojapali maily performed in various socio-cultural occasion.
Besides Satriya dances ,another beautiful dance –form of Barpeta is the famous, Bhartal “ dance. This dance –form is an adapted improvised dance-form developed from both the satriya and traditional dance .”Bhortal dance is discovered and initiated by one great satriya artist Late Mahananda Sutradhar , which was first performed in the stage among the people by another great artist Late Narahari Burabhakat of Barpeta Satra. Late Narahari Burhabhakat also made some refinement of this dance form .
Drama and Theater
Sankardeva popularised ‘Bhaona’ or mythological plays that became the centre of attraction from the common masses. Colourful dresses were worn by the participants on the occasion, it is a combination of Dance, music, and drama.
Apart from Satriya bhawna, barpeta is a hub for modern Assamese theater and drama. In the era of British, lots of scholers and pandit resides in Barpeta. All local theater personality match up with them and create a massive revolution in Modern theater and drama.
Decorative items of daily use including furniture’s, gift items, decoration items etc. are prepared by rural artisans out of cane and bamboo are wide spread in the town and district.
Bell and Brass Metal Industry
The renowned town of Sarthebari is well-known for the household bell and brass-metal industry. Traditional utensils and fancy items designed by the artisans are found in every Assamese household. Most popular utensils here prepared are xorai for offering as gift to namghars and bota on which paan and betel nuts served by hosts to guests.
Pottery works are popular among the common people.The Hira community is engaged in this profession. Ethnic and traditional items of daily use are prepared by the artisans. Great mathematician Varahmihira is said to have stayed in a potter’s village of Lehi dongra(now eroded by river Brahmaputra).
Among the various articles preserved in the Satras, the decorative items made out of wood reflects the skilful artistry of the carpentars. The Guru Asana or the pedestral of the guru,various animals and birds figuring in mythology are aesthetically designed by the artisans.
Bhaonas or plays introduced by Shrimanta Sankardeva used masks which are made with tribal art and folk element. These are prepared with materials like terracotta,pith,metal,bamboo,wood etc.
Barpeta is famous centre for preparation of Traditional Assamese ornaments with Gold. The ornaments are stillas popular as during the medieval period among the female community.
Paintings are traced back to the medieval period. Paintings available in the Satras reflect the skilful work of the painters.
Materials including Ornaments,Toys, images of Gods and Goddessess,Animals, Comb etc are made by skilful artisans of Barpeta since the time of Shrimanta Sankardeva.
Devadasi , another dance form ,originally performed by the female temple dancers at Dubi Devalaya for amusement of the temple deities. Due to some social reasons this dance form lost its patronages and become extinct.