Kamtapur

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Kamtapur
Aspirant state
Country India
State West Bengal & Assam
Languages
 • Official Kamatapuri
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Kamtapur is a proposed state of India. It is the name of a state proposed in north West Bengal and Assam by the Rajbongshi people on the basis of the Kamatapur Kingdom which is divided into many parts . The proposed state comprises some districts of West Bengal and other contiguous districts of Assam. This statehood demand is mostly led by Kamtapur People's Party.[1]

History[edit]

From 650 to 1498 CE,[2] Kamatapur (কামতাপুর) was a Hindu kingdom in eastern India. The medieval Kamatapur or Kamata kingdom flourished before the emergence of the Koch kingdom under the leadership of Viswa Singha. Kamatapur emerged as a sovereign state right from the middle of the seventh century and it continued through ups and downs till the year 1498 when its last capital at Gosanimari was devastated by the invading army of Alauddin Husain Shah of Bengal.[3] The ancient kingdom of Kamatapur was located in the western Brahmaputra Valley.[4] Most probably, Nalrajar Garh[5] in Chilapata forest was the earliest capital of Kamatapur and subsequently through a long course of changes and developments the capital was shifted to Maynaguri and then to Prithu Rajar Garh,[6] and before its final shifting to Gosanimari, an ancient river port-town since the seventh century, for some time, the capital was at Singijani. After the destruction of the kingdom of Kamatapur by Alauddin Husain Shah of Gaur, there emerged the Koch kingdom with its capital at Hingulavas in the Dooars.

Nilambar was the last ruler of Kamatapur. He was defeated by Alauddin Husain Shah in 1498. The homelands of Koch Rajbongshi people comprises their ancient Kingdom, Kamatapur, Koch Kingdom, Kamarupa Kingdom they inhibit in entire Assam, Total Parts of the present West Bengal, Nepal and Bangladesh. They are the majority in Assam and while comparing the North Bengal Koch Rajbongshi community have majority of the population. Koch Rajbongshi people stay very close to the nature. It is a Tradition for Koch Rajbonshi Men to go for Hunting in the wild, they usually go in a Group for Hunting.

They bring the "Prey" from the wild and share the meat in a Banana Leaf as per the requirement of each family. Usually every Koch Rajbonshi House has a Mango Tree, Jack-fruit tree and a Small Kitchen Garden, with a small Pond where they keep fish. If a "Prey" survive in hunting or during hunting they treat them in their house and keep that as a Pet in their house. Koch Rajbonshi people have an ancient tradition of Treatment which is not very well known to the modern medicine world, the significant medicine that they use is not known to even Ayurveda Medicine Scientist. The tradition of this medicine is passed orally from one generation to another and not shared to the foreign element, because it is prohibited during the education process from the ancestor, the knowledge can be only given from one generation to another within the community .

Language[edit]

Some speak the Koch language, which is a Sino-Tibetan language closely related to the Bodo language spoken by the Bodo people.

Some speak the Rajbangshi language, which is an Indic language spoken by five million in India, and more than 130,000 by Nepali Rajbanshi and also Tajpuria. Many are bilingual in either Bengali or Nepali.

They do not speak their language in public because of the shyness of this community however they speak among themselves and within the community. Due to geographical isolation of this community they intend to remain within their geographical area, they prefer not to share their primitive customs

Culture[edit]

Koch Rajbongshi wear their own traditional dress where by they wear it in their traditional events, community events and also in general day to day life. Women and Men of Koch Rajbongshi have sets of traditional dress and jewellery. Patani being wore by the women of this community and men wear Noucha/gamsha/dhoti and a yellow color piece of cloth surrounded in the neck for men, They wear this yellow color cloth in their neck as a mark of respect for nature, elderly people also have a tradition to wear a turban or a lengthy cloth wrapped in their head.

Women wear patani from the chest till below the knee but it does not touch the ankle, the cloth stays above ground of around 6 cms, the reason for wearing Patani not till the ground level or till the ankle because they believe that water is a sacred as it is a part of the nature so while crossing lake or river the cloth should not touch the water, it is a mark of respect to the nature and they believe that if cloth touch the water the purification of the water goes away and thus how they can not use it in their traditional ritual practice of worshiping nature, In-fact the men wear (gamasha(5ft long ) /Naucha ( 9 ft Long) , This Naucha or Gamasha they wear from the waist till the knee, it never touch the ankle because they believe that water is a sacred as it is a part of the nature so while crossing lake or river the cloth should not touch the water, it is a mark of respect to the nature and they believe that if cloth touch the water the purification of the water goes away and thus how they can not use it in their traditional ritual practice of worshiping nature. They wear a kind of Turban, in their head it is a long length cloth wrapped in the head of the elderly men or significant person in the community to symbolist or high priest, in modern days people can wear the turban who have comparatively higher status and respect in the society.

Koch Rajbongshi Women gets up early in the morning and clean the house with a broom made up of BAMBOO Then they give water and food to all the animals first, then they take their breakfast.When they eat, if they have pet like Dog or Cat they also eat along with them the same break fast, it is a ritual and tradition .Keeping Parrot as a pet is a Tradition of Koch Rajbonshi (reason is still not known) Whenever Koch Rajbongshi people go for hunting they take the permission from the elder and from the nature to allow them to go for Hunting , it is a tradition of Koch Rajbongshi not to kill any animal for pleasure but only for consumption purpose they do hunting, during spring they don’t go for hunting because this is the time animal gives birth, so they don’t kill animal this time , for managing spring time they dry meat before in well advanced, and they also keep ferment fish in there house to manage this time period .Koch Rajbongshi People do not eat all kinds of animal some of them they consider as bad for there community if they kill (for eg CROW) They don’t kill DOVE or even they don’t keep as pet in the house but if a dove comes and makes a nest, it is considered as good LUCK for the community and for the family, Seeing Peacock is considered as a Good Lucky during Hunting , Koch Rajbongshi People do not Kill or eat Peacock but they do catch Peacock for feather for medicinal use but they release the peacock later on after getting the one or two feather. Koch Rajbongshi People make FAN out of coconut tree leave, TAL plant leave, and they also make FAN out of Bamboo, Koch Rajbongshi peoples Kitchen are made of Mud , reason is still unknown.

Traditional food[edit]

Usually they cook in a bamboo along with banana leaf by putting it in fire. Koch Rajbongshi people burn brinjal and potato in fire directly and roast it and make a paste with hand and eat. Koch Rajbgonshi people burn fish and eat. They never wash the food item that is being burned for eating purpose, because they believe that the mother nature will get offended if they wash and eat. They don’t use any utensils for eating, rather they use Banana plants Body part as a Plate And Banana Leave as a wrapper to keep the food worm. They use bamboo plant as a vessel for cooking (e.g. Bash Pitha) They wrap a special kind of rice (borni Chawel) in a Banana Leave and tie wit banana plant thread (which they make out of banana Plant leave) and Put it in a mud vessel where water is poured and fire is given from down side for boiling (for e.g. Topla Bhat) they use bamboo plant as a drinking glass for drinking water. They used matured bottle Guard shell as an vessel to keep dry food. Koch Rajbongshi people use dry food a lot, they dry in the sun, cabbage, cauliflower, onion to use in off seasons. Koch Rajbonsghi people dry meat and keep it and use it when ever there is no meat in the family to eat. They also put Raw Fish in a Bamboo and ferment it and use it when ever there is no fish. Koch Rajbongshi people use a special wooden block to make the paddy into rice Koch Rajbongshi people use a special stone to make paste for there herbal medicine. Every food Koch Rajbongshi people take have a significance for medicinal use. Koch Rajbongshi people give thanks to nature for providing food before they eat, they used to sprinkle water around the Banana Plate before and after eating. Koch Rajbongshi people either eat in a community or along with Family but nobody gets up from the eating place until and unless every body finishes eating. Koch rajbonshi people use shell of coconut, dry matured shell of bottle guard as a Ladle.

Tradition[edit]

Koch Rajbongshi have their own tradition and culture, they celebrate the Koch Rajbongshi new year with their traditional culture, It have its own food habit and tradition, Koch Rajbongshi people respect elders and follow a rich cultured life, they prefer to eat traditional food in their home and they welcome their guest with bittle nut and bittle leaves.

Dialects[edit]

The main dialects are Western Rajbogshi, Central Rajbongshi, Eastern Rajbongshi and the dialect of the Rajbongshi of the hills, also known as Kamta or Rajbongshi.

Traditional Medicinal Practice by Koch Rajbongshi Tribe[edit]

Koch Rajbongshi Tribe use leaves of Mari Gold for different purpose of healing and bodily injury. Every house will have Mari gold plant which is considered as a medicinal Plant For Cough and Cold Koch Rajbongshi Tribe use Tulsi Leaves , Ginger, Baska Pata(Rajbongshi word), Black Peaper to cure cough and Cold, For Dengu fever Koch Rajbonsghi People takes small Chicken with Ginger, Black Peeper, Garlic and Turmeric , onion , they make a paste of all these herbs in a Stone and Put it in a Bamboo with Banana Leave and put it in fire . The do body message for there children and old people with spring water, morning dew from the plant leave and warm oil which is mixed with ginger.

Koch Rajbongshi community can be found in entire parts of Present Assam, West Bengal, Nepal, Meghalaya, Bihar,Bangladesh. Koch Rajbongshi community is one of the primitive community of the Koch Rajbongshi Kingdom being ruled by the Koch Rajbongshi Kings like King Nara Narayan, King Chilaray. The Koch Rajbongshi Kingdom is being merged with present Assam, most of the parts of the North Bengal, Parts of Nepal and Bangladesh.

People some times misunderstand and take Koch Rajbongshi as Assamese in Assam and Bengali as in West Bengal because as Koch Rajbongshis are shy by nature, they do not disclose their ancient language in public and their traditional worship pattern towards nature is a very private affair, thereby the pattern of worship is not exposed to the public or researcher and scholar in most oftentimes with special request may be it is possible to observe such event, which is a rare golden opportunity to watch the traditional worship, they generally do not allow to do video recording or photography of such events, they believe that nature may get offended by the act. This behavior of Koch Rajbongshi tribe is because of their shyness but it have also a negative effect because the world is unknown about their language and Tribal culture, only the Koch Rajbongshi have the knowledge about it and they do not share it with the rest of the world, It is personal and sacred communion which they share within their brotherhood.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101014/jsp/siliguri/story_13055491.jsp Factions Merge for Kamtapur Fight
  2. ^ Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers
  3. ^ Barma, S. (2007). Socio-Political Movements in North Bengal (A Sub-Himalayan Tract). Global Vision. p. 3. ISBN 978-8182202177. 
  4. ^ Nath, D. (1989). History of the Koch Kingdom, C. 1515–1615. Mittal Publications. p. 1. ISBN 978-8170991090. 
  5. ^ Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers
  6. ^ Sailen Debnath, The Dooars in Historical Transition, ISBN 9788186860441, N.L. Publishers

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°09′30″N 89°22′15″E / 26.15833°N 89.37083°E / 26.15833; 89.37083