Assamese Gamosa

April 1, 2023

Recently, the ‘hybrid’ gamosa which was used for felicitating guests at a function sparked protests across Assam.

About Assamese gamosa

  • The ‘gamosa or gamocha’ is a hand-woven rectangular cotton piece of cloth with red borders and different designs and motifs.
  • It is traditionally offered to elders and guests as a mark of respect and honour by Assamese people.
  • It is an integral part of all socio-religious ceremonies in the state and is considered an Assamese identity and pride.
  • For specific purposes, it is also made of expensive materials like traditional Assamese ‘Pat’ silk and in different colours as well.
  • The ‘gamosa’ meant for exchange during the ‘Bihu’ festival is known as ‘Bihuwan’.
  • It is a unique scarf found only in Assam and also received Geographic Indication (GI) tag.

What is a Geographic Indication Tag?

  • A Geographical Indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • This tag is typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts and industrial products.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999seeks to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods in India.
  • This GI tag is valid for 10 years following which it can be renewed.