Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020
The Ahoms are a descendent branch of the Tai tribe of Tibet who settled in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam. They ruled over the valley from 1200 AD until the conquest by the British in 1800s.
An Ahom wedding is known as Chak long in the local dialect. The first act is called the Sodhnibhara where the groom's parents visit the bride’s family to make a formal matrimonial offer with gifts like betel nuts, ducks and other lavish items. The girl's family returns with their own gifts on a later date to accept the proposal.
The first day of the actual marriage ceremony is called Joron diah which is essentially the Haldi ceremony. The families of both the bride and the groom make offerings to the Tai god Khaokham on this day. The second day is called the Murot tel diya where the priest known as Siring phukan conducts elaborate rituals written in the holy scriptures known as Saklang puthi. The ladies arrange the Maral which is a beautiful rangoli flanked by 101 earthenware pots lit by an equal number of diyas.
The final day is the Chak long where the lagna gathi or the tying of the ends of the clothes of the bride and the groom takes place along with the pheres around a sacrificial fire pit. The groom is adorned with Kavas kapor, a cotton yarn covering made by the bride in a single night and the Heng dang, the ornamental sword signifying the royal ancestry of the groom. The bride is dressed in her finest wear and sits beside the groom in front of the Maral where they take vows to stand by each other in all times to come. The elders bless the new couple by singing the Uruli which is the chanting of a chorus blessing the newlyweds. The ceremony is declared solemnised by the Siring phukan at the auspicious hour in the divine presence of Lord Khaokham.
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