Xutuli | Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation


A dramatisation about the musical instrument Xutuli from the state of Assam in India.

The video starts with the probable story about the origins and then gets into the construction of different kinds of Xutuli. We also illustrate the science behind its musical tunes. This format has been chosen so that the video can evoke widespread interest in the community it is intended to be distributed. From the shape and sound of Xutuli, it can be deduced that this instrument imitates birds. It is made of sticky soil. In Assamese culture during the festival of Bohag Bihu, Xutuli has an importance of its own. Initially, the cowherding boys (Gorokhiya lora) used Xutuli as a toy, because of ease of construction. Xutuli is played by both boys and girls in Bihu, but most importantly Xutuli is an indispensable part of Jeng Bihu and Bihuwati dances, and predominantly played by girls. The Karbi community calls it Torlit and it is made in the imitation of the sound of the cicada to invoke rain. The Karbi young boys play the Torlit to amuse in their slash-and-burn cultivation. The Rabha community calls it Gugubela or Gugumela and is made of sticky soil in hemispherical shape. It is played by cowherds in leisure time of cultivation.

This video is part of a series created by Shilpika Bordoloi for the Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation

“Xutuli” was possible thanks to the support of the Ecoversities Alliance 2020 Publication, Film and Multimedia Initiative.

Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation (BCF) is a space of and for community participation, leadership, well being, education through arts and culture. While they preserve and promote cultural traditions, practices of North-east India, they also showcase the best practices in the field of performing and visual arts from all over the world.

The foundation aims at striking a balance between the flows of traditional and modern knowledge and addresses the social, cultural and developmental conflicts. Cultural exchanges, residencies, workshops, research-based work, performances have been their core areas so far. Their strength is their deep-rooted intention and a diverse team of artists, environmentalists, scholars, managers, village elders, farmers, youth and leaders. 

For more information visit https://bcf-india.org

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