Home Life Style Assam’s 19 iconic items awarded coveted GI Tag | – Times of India

Assam’s 19 iconic items awarded coveted GI Tag | – Times of India

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Assam’s 19 iconic items awarded coveted GI Tag | – Times of India

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In a land where the mighty Brahmaputra River weaves its way through lush green landscapes, Assam stands tall as the gateway to the northeastern part of India, representing the diverse cultures of the state; a veritable ‘melting pot’. This northeastern state, known for its tea gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and vibrant festivals, recently achieved a significant milestone.Nineteen traditional products and crafts from Assam have been awarded the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag, from which 13 are attributed to the Bodo community. Let’s take a look at the iconic items that have bagged the coveted GI tag.
The news of Assam’s iconic items receiving the GI tag was announced by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He shared the news on social media website X in a post. describing it as a “big win for Assam’s heritage,” he went on to say, ” Six prestigious GI Tags have been granted to traditional crafts with support from NABARD, RO Guwahati, and facilitated by Padma Shri Dr. Rajani Kant, GI Expert. This includes iconic items like Assam Bihu Dhol, Japi, Sarthebari Metal Craft, and more. These products, deeply rooted in history, support nearly one lakh people directly.” The post received over 32,000 views and hundreds of likes. But why are GI tags so prestigious and desired?
Geographical Indications (GIs) are signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess distinctive qualities, reputation, or characteristics attributable to that place of origin. These tags serve as intellectual property rights that identify a product’s unique geographical source, providing legal protection and preventing unauthorized use. Their significance cannot be understated. Once a product receives a GI tag, it gains legal protection against unauthorized use by others. The registered proprietors have exclusive rights to use the GI tag for the specified goods or products, preventing misuse, imitation, or misleading representations. Beyond legal protection, GI recognition contributes to rural development by supporting artisans, weavers, and communities involved in producing these unique items. Moreover, GI tags enhance the marketability of Indian products globally, signaling authenticity and uniqueness. These tags aren’t limited to popular products; they exist for hundreds of items across states, each recognizing a specific region and product.
Here are some of the traditional items from Assam that have recently received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tags:
Assamese Bihu Dhol: The iconic two-faced drum played with a stick and a hand, essential in Assam’s folk entertainment and culture.

The Bihu Dhol, one of the most important instruments in Assamese culture has also received the GI Tag. Source: iStock

Assamese Jaapi: A traditional bamboo hat made from tokou paat (palm leaf) and densely woven bamboo or cane. It symbolizes pride in Assam and was historically used for sun and rain protection.
Sarthebari Metal Craft: The centuries-old handicraft industry from Barpeta that is known for it’s bell-metal products, with around 2000 artisans engaged in this craft.
Panimeteka Craft (Water Hyacinth): Crafted from water hyacinth, this product has gained recognition.
Mising Taat (Handloom): Handwoven textiles made by the Mising community that play a significant role in Assamese culture.
Asharikandi’s Exquisite Terracotta Works: Beautiful terracotta creations from Asharikandi that are intrinsic to Assamese cultural heritage
Aside from these items, thirteen of the GI-tagged products were specifically linked to the Bodo community, which forms the largest tribal group in Assam. These items represent the rich cultural heritage of the Bodos and include: Jotha, Gongona, Gamsa, Sifung, Serja, Khardwi, Kham, Gongar Dunjia, Thorka, Keradapini, Jwmgra, Dokhona, and Eri Silk are among newest GI tagged items. These include both agricultural products and musical instruments.
As Assam continues to preserve its heritage, these GI-tagged items are proof of the state’s cultural richness and craftsmanship. They connect the past with the present, weaving together tradition, innovation, and pride. Let us celebrate these remarkable items and appreciate the diverse mosaic of Assam’s cultural legacy!

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