Bihu Dhol

Bihu Dhol

The SwarShala Indian music software includes Bihu Dhol and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.

About Bihu Dhol:

Bihu Dhol is a drum-like musical instrument from Assam with a barrel shape carved and hollowed out of a single piece of quality wood. The right head is larger and has a louder pitch than the left side. Both the faces of the Bihu Dhol are enclosed with thin leather. It is tightened with the support of 'Gajra' (the outer diameter of the dhol head), similar to Tabla. And it is interlaced to the shell and hoop on the other side by thin but solid leather straps.

Bihu Dhol is the most valued musical instrument for the Assamese, a vital part of their folk festival and tradition. Bihu Dhol becomes more relevant when the festival in question is Bihu Itself. This special Dhol is beaten along the Rangali Bihu dance and songs like Bihu Naam, performed during the occasion.

Close-up of a Bihu Dhol

The performers of Bihu Dhol (Dhuliye) suspend it from their necks horizontally. The left side of the Dhol is played by striking a stick, and the right head side is played with fingers. This drum-like musical instrument is so closely related to the region's folk culture that it also serves as a cultural symbol to the people and the tradition of the Assam Valley.

The performance of Bihu Songs and the dance on the beats of the Dhol echoes in the Himalayan mountains during the Bihu festival season, which is all the more entertaining and an amazing experience to witness.

While searching for the origin of Bihu Dhol in Assam, the earliest reference goes back to the late medieval period of the Ahom and Koch kingdoms, established in the early 1200s. From among their rulers, 'Sadhan Dhuliya' (drummer) deserves to be mentioned, in particular, because it is believed that he was one of the main Dhuliyas during the famous Ahom Kingdom.

The true essence of the Bihu can be derived from the Bihu Naam (Bihu song) lyrics. According to the song, the woman weaver of Assam runs to the Bihu tali (a place to perform Bihu songs and dance), leaving behind all her worries and work; she even forgets about her hunger and thirst.


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