Buranji

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Buranjis are a class of historical chronicles, written initially in the Ahom and afterwards in Western Assamese dialect.[1][2] The first such Buranji was written on the instructions of the first Ahom king Sukaphaa who established the Ahom kingdom in 1228. There were two kinds of Buranjis: one maintained by the state (official) and the other maintained by families.[3] Many such manuscripts were written by scribes under the office of the Likhakar Barua, which are based on state papers, diplomatic correspondences, judicial proceedings, etc. Others were written by nobles or by people under their supervision, very often their identities are not revealed. Not only do these documents reveal the chronology of events, but they reflect the language, culture, society and the inner workings of the state machinery of the kingdom. They were written in "simple, lucid and unambiguous but expressive language with utmost brevity and least exaggeration." The tradition of writing Buranjis survived more than six hundred years well into the British period, till a few decades after the demise of the Ahom kingdom.

Literally, Buranji means "a store that teaches the ignorant" (in the Ahom language: bu ignorant person; ran teach; ji store). The Buranjis not only describe the Ahom kingdom, but also the neighbors (Kachari, Sutiya, and Tripura Buranjis) and those with whom the Ahom kingdom had diplomatic and military contacts (Padshah Buranji). They were written on the barks of the Sanchi tree or aloe wood. Though many such Buranjis have been collected, compiled and published, an unknown number of Buranjis are still in private hands.

Mainly the Mohan(Mohung),Deodhai(Changbun)and Bailung(Moplong),the ahom people who are even today not Hindus and follow their own religion i.e. FRA-LUNG try to preserve their buranjis to retain their ethnic identities and hesitate to hand these over to research scholars in the fear of misuse.

During the reign of Rajeswar Singha, Kirti Chandra Borbarua had many Buranjis destroyed because he suspected they contained information on his lowly birth.[4]

List of well-known Buranjis[edit]

No. Name Author
1 Assam Buranji Harakanta Baruah
2 Assam Buranji Kasinath Tamuli Phukan
3 Asamar Padya Buranji (Buranji of Assam in verse)
4 Ahom Buranji Golap Chandra Barua
5 Changrung Phukanar Buranji
6 Deodhai Asam Buranji
7 Padshah Buranji
8 Purani Assam Buranji Hemchandra Goswami
9 Satasari Assam Buranji
10 Tungkhungia Buranji Srinath Duara Barbarua
11 Tripura Buranji Ratna Kandali and Arjun Das, 1724

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Goswami, Golockchandra (1982), Structure of Assamese, Page 11, Western Assamese dialect, the sole medium of all ancient Assamese literature including the buranjis written in the Ahom court
  2. ^ (Goswami 2007, p. 436)
  3. ^ (Hartman 1997, p. 227)
  4. ^ Sarkar, J. N. (1992) The Buranjis: Ahom and Assamese in The Comprehensive History of Assam Vol II (ed H K Barpujari), Publication Board, Assam

References[edit]

  • Goswami, G. C.; Tamuli, Jyotiprakash (2007), "Asamiya", in Cordona, George; Jain, Dhanesh, The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge, pp. 429–484 
  • Hartman, John F. (1997) Review: Phongsawadan Tai-Ahom: Ahom Buranji (Tai-Ahom Chronicles) by Renu Wichasin, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press
  • Sarkar, J. N. (1992) The Buranjis: Ahom and Assamese in The Comprehensive History of Assam Vol II (ed H K Barpujari), Publication Board, Assam