Assamese Gamosa gets international recognition, granted GI Tag

The traditional Assamese scarf known as ‘Gamosa’ has been granted a Geographical Indications (GI) tag.


Different objects and artifacts have deep cultural significance with myriad beliefs, pride, and identity attached to them. One such Assamese symbol, the Gamosa, has been granted a Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

In noting the addition of the traditional scarf to the GI Registry, the 124th Geographical Indications Journal states, “The Gamosa is a traditional textile and a symbol of Assamese culture.”

The word “Gamosa” means a woven towel. It comes from the Sanskrit word “Gatro Marjoni,” meaning the piece of fabric used to absorb water / to wipe body after taking bath. It is essential a hand-woven piece of white cloth with a beautifully woven red motif on two borders. It is four-feet long and two-feet wide.

As a symbol of respect, it is gifted to elders with a betel nut or used to welcome guests. It also has a special place in the Bihu dance—dancers wear it around their head and waist, while the musical instruments used in the dance are also wrapped in it.

Historian Dr. Leela Gogoi said that the Gamosa has been around since the Ahom days. The GI application for the traditional scarf states that temple altars and Satras are decorated with the Gamosa that has floral motifs along with words “Krishna”, “Ram”, “Hari” as butties all over the fabric.

A GI tag is a sign that indicates that a given product has a specific geographical origin and possesses the standard of quality usually attributed to products of that origin. The GI tags are granted to special products with identifiable features. A GI tag ensures that only quality products from authorised users of the identified region get to use the product name.

The application for Gamosa was made by the Institute of Handicraft Craft Development in Golaghat. The grant of the tag is likely to boost the market economy.

Along with the Gamosa, the Chokuwa rice of Assam has also received the GI tag. This rice is used in social and religious ceremonies. Other Assamese products like the Boka Chaul, Muga Silk, Joha rice and Tezpur litchi have also earned the GI tag.


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