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Xutuli (Assamese: সুতুলী) is a musical instrument used during the Rongali Bihu festival in Assam, India. It can either be made from clay or the lower end of a bamboo tree which is left after the main part falls or is cut off (Assamese: বাহঁৰ মূঢ়া). Detail about this musical instrument is available in xobdo.
The instrument is shaped like a half moon. It is believed that initially instruments of this type developed from the hard shells of fruits like coconut, and then similar shapes were made from potter’s clay. These instruments imitate the sounds of animals and birds and produce a flute-like sound. They were initially used as toys and only later finally developed into musical instruments. In ancient China a similar instrument was called a “xun”.
Instruments like Xutuli are believed to have existed since prehistory. Remnants of Xutuli have been found in different archeological excavations[clarification needed]. From the shape and sound of Xutuli, it can be deduced that this instrument imitates birds. In Assamese folk culture, people believe that the sound of Xutuli invites rain.
In Bohag Bihu, Xutuli has importance of its own. Initially, the cowboys (Ggorokhiya 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. Nowadays every Bihuwati is desired be an accomplished Xutuli player.
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