Karbi Anglong Celebrates Thanksgiving Festival ‘Rongker’

Rongker Observed In Karbi Anglong

Rongker, the annual thanksgiving festival of the Karbi community is being observed throughout the district since yesterday.

The festival is observed once a year by each village. As there is no specific time for the observance of the festival, different villages observe Rongker at different times. This observance of the festival depends entirely on the convenience of the villagers concerned; the entire village contributes in cash and kind.

The Rongker is observed in order to appease the local deities, associated with the welfare of the village, and also to get rid of all evil activities. The festival lasts for three days. The main part of the festival is performed in an open field, where a thatched roof is collectively constructed by the villages to provide sitting accommodation for the participants.

One Vegetarian Deity

Interestingly in this festival all the sacrifices needed of animals and birds are made in the name of all the deities except for the deity Bamun, who is believed to be vegetarian. The community feast is organized at the end of the rituals. Thekere or the chief priest predicts the future of the village by looking at the heart and intestines of the sacrificed animals.

The third part of the Rongker is called Rongphu-Ronglin-Kangthin which means driving out of evil spirits from the lower half of the village to the upper half. It is also called Ajo-Rongker, It is performed on the night of the second day. In a specific place at the end of the village, a road and a chicken is sacrificed in the name of Ajo-Angtarpi.

The fourth and the concluding part of the Rongker is called Langhe Rongker. It is observed on the third day of the festival. A duwan is made in the bank and a cock is sacrificed in the name of Arnam-teke (The tiger god).

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.