Assam’s jaapi finds place in the Republic Day Google Doodle. Jaapi is a traditional conical hat from Assam made of woven bamboo and tokou paat (large palm leaf).
The name jaapi came from the word jaap, which means a bunch of taku leaves.
In the past, plain jaapi were used by ordinary Indians for protection from the sun. Meanwhile Assamese royalty and nobility wore the ornate jaapi, as a status symbol.
There are various types of jaapi; Sorudaya japi, Bordaya japi, Haluwa japi & Garakhiya japi, Pitha japi, Tupi japi.
Decorative sorudaya jaapi are made with intricate cloth designs (red, white, green, blue, and black) that are integrated into the weaving. They have been there as far back as the time of Xuanzang’s visit to Assam when visitors were welcomed with colorful jaapi.
In the present time, jaapi is a symbol of Assam worn during Bihu dance, against protection from sun/rain. Apart from that it is also offered as sign of respect in ceremonies, used as decor around the house, near the front door as a welcome sign.