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Majuli Island - Part 2

Majuli Island, Assam - April 2011



Majuli Island, a land forgotten by the time...


It is now becoming famous, thankf to its "dancing monks" who live in "Satras" (monasteries). These monks pray Vishnu, in his Krishna avatar - there are different branches and rules depending on the monasteries...

... These monks (or "bhakats" - monks-artists-farmers) dance the "Sattriya".

We had the chance to see a bit of the dance with the "beginners" (children start their lives in the monastery at 7). It is beautiful, very pure.

Another thing that impressed me is the "feminity" of most of the monks. I searched but could not find anything about it. So my theory is that while dancing, they embody the "gopis", female devotees of Krishna.

For the story, when Krishna was a child, he was a cowherd and he had thousands of wet-nurses, the "gopis". The "gopis" are also depicted as the female cowherds of the village, young girls or married women. Krishna's stories are numerous in Indian sacred books, which have no taboo about sex or war. ("The relations of Krishna and the gopis, women that he is believed to have satisfied all, are the symbol of the Divine Principle to which all single souls try to unite in order to get free"). While dancing scenes of the sacred books, would the monks embody the gopis? 


We also visited a "mishing" house, very interesting.

The landscapes of untouched Majuli are incredible, luxuriant (with water all year long). Life seems simple there, though it is certainly one of the toughest life...


Pour visionner le très beau reportage « Dans les Brumes de Majuli » :

Et pour l’introduction :

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