Photo: Northeast Now

Nangal Dhowa (washing the plough) ceremony which marks the culmination of paddy cultivation of Assam observed on the last day of Assamese month of ‘Bhada’ was held in Dhakuwakhona sub-division of Lakhimpur district of Assam recently.

This dying tradition celebrated in a village public meet, called for preservation of a very common plant – the Tora (Alpina) plant, now fast moving towards extinction.

Tora Pitha
Rice cakes wrapped with tora leaves. Photo: Northeast Now

On this occasion villagers made pithas (rice cakes) wrapped in Tora (Alpina) leaves and served them with duck meat or milk or lentils among family members and neighbours.

Organized by Wild Silk North East, an organization promoting traditional agro-economic practices for sustainable development and for climate resilient communities, the Nangal Dhowa function was participated by the villagers of Mohemari village on the banks of river

Korha in Dhakuwakhona.

It was on that occasion a symposium was organized by Wild Silk Northeast for the preservation, conservation and commercialization of Alpinia plants which has an inseparable bond with paddy cultivation in Assam besides having tremendous medicinal values.

Tora Plant
Tora (Alpina) plants. Photo: Northeast Now

The symposium cum awareness meet along with the Nangal Dhowa function was inaugurated by sub-divisional officer (Civil) of Dhakuwakhona, Arindam Baruah and attended by Prof Amiya Handique, retired HoD, Department of English, Dhakuwakhona College, Dr H N Dutta, retired joint director of Agriculture, Prof Sevak Borah of Dhakuwakhona College, columnist Prof Sazzad Hussain of Lakhimpur Commerce College and several other prominent persons.

The key-note address of the symposium was delivered by Jitul Saikia, director, Wild Silk North East.

He said that the traditional paddy cultivation in Assam starts with Tora plant as cattle are tied with ropes made from Tora plant on the first day of Assamese New Year or Bohag Bihu followed by planting of a sapling of the same flora on the first day of sowing season.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at:

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