Folklore Research

The Folklore Research Department is one of the premier and earliest folklore departments in the country, which was established in the university with a view to study oral literature, customs, art forms and performing arts of the communities of Assam and the North-east. The department had its inception in a scheme for a Folklore Archive initiated by Professor Birinchi Kumar Barua in 1955 and for some time it was kept attached to the Department of Anthropology but its affairs were handled by Professor Barua himself till his death in 1964. After his demise Dr PrafulladattaGoswami took the charge of the department. In January 1972, the department was given an independent status and renamed as Folklore Research Department and Dr Goswami was appointed its Professor and Head.

The department offers courses in folklore theory and methods by experts in the field. Along with its focus on the literary and artistic study of folklore, the department stresses upon the need for studying indigenous knowledge system and folk science in M. Phil and Ph. D research. The department also notes the struggle for survival of the people and how the cultural and intellectual rights of the people could be upheld against the forces which are levelling cultures and destroying traditions.

Department of Folklore Research
Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam
Email :
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The museum of the Department of Folklore Research was established in 1986 with an objective to collect and exhibit important folklore items of the region. Presently the museum has 329 items connected with the traditional life of the region. Most of the items have been collected from various parts of the region, representing different groups of population, depicting their traditional folk life.    



The Department has Organized a National seminar on Interpreting Folklore and Culutre of Northeast  from 29 -30 March,  2019 where more than 200 hundred scholars and students across all disciplines are taking part . The seminar has covered diverse issues related to the folklore and culture of Northeast India .

The twoday seminar has sub themes like :Colonial collection and their Deconstruction , Religious processes in Northeast, Gender issues in Folklore ,Identity movements and folklore in NORTHEAST  ,Ethnograpahy of the communities of Northeast, Culture community and orality , Folklore and orality , Performing arts of Northeast  , folklore and popular culture, Folklore and tangible culutral heritage  Folklore and  tribal lore of Northeast 


 WORLD FOLKLORE DAY  was celebrated on 25  August 2018( 22 August being a festival day on account of ID uz zaha ) in the Department with a day long programme of Book release ,lecture programme ,felicitation and cultural show 


A Documentary film (on women weavers of Tezpur  Assam )  produced by Aparna Sarma from University of CALIFORNIA ,BERKELEY   

WAS  Screened on 27 July2018  at 2 p.m in the Seminar Hall of the Department . The  film on the weaving and textle traditons and the life of the artisans was  of immense educative  value for the researchers . 


A two-day national seminar on ‘Urbanisation and folklore: Emerging issues and perspectives’ was organised by the Department of Folklore Research, Gauhati University, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Social Science Research (NERC)-Shillong and the Centre for South East Asian Studies, GU,on 23rd and 24th March, 2018. The seminar was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of the University Dr Mridul Hazarika, who highlighted the value of folklore research and stressed that as one of the oldest folklore departments in the country, the Folklore Research Department of Gauhati University has a legacy and responsibility to confront the challenges in an age of overwhelming technological penetration.

Dr Anil Boro, Head of the Department, in his welcome address emphasised the relevance of the topic and gave an outline of the theme of the seminar.

Prof Kishore Bhattacharjee, in his speech, shed light on the study of urbanisation and folklore and how the process of shifting rural areas into urban ones has impacted the folk life.

The chief guest of the session, Dr Sujay Mandal of the University of Kalyani, West Bengal, called for extending deliberations on the topic and for utilising the innumerable scope for further development in the field of folklore research.

Dr Pallabi Borah offered the vote of thanks.

Altogether 103 research papers, with topics ranging from the impact of urbanisation on folklore, commodification of folklore, Assamese folklore among the young users of social media, use of new media technology in the promotion of folk materials, use of folk culture as an instrument of political campaign with special reference to electronic media of Assam, portrayal of folklore in digital world, folk speech, jokes, urban legends, graffiti, urbanization and changing world-view of folklore, commodification of folklore and urban folk festivals and ceremonies, were presented at the seminar by scholars from different parts of the country.

Established as well as budding folklorists aired their views at the seminar on the myriad dynamics and relationships between urbanization and folklore and discussed about the potential ways for retention of folklore, the press release added.

The seminar concluded with a valedictory function, which was graced by the Registrar of the University, Dr Suresh Kumar Nath, as the chief guest.


Research Programmes in Folklore:

·         The M Phil and Ph. D. Programmes in Folklore empower students with a research experience in the area of Folklore providing knowledge in culture, environment and society and the tradition of folklore and their impact on society. The research programmes enable the students to identify the issues of contemporary relevance of folklore and engage themselves in research of applied aspects of traditional knowledge. The programmes prepare the students for broader research in areas of vast folklore materials, especially of the Northeast India, which is incredibly rich in ethnic and cultural diversity.



1.      M.Phil. in Folklore:

  Intake Capacity: 12

Duration: 1 Year

Admission Process: Through GU-RET

Syllabus: Available on


 2. Ph. D. in Folklore:

Intake Capacity: 10

Duration: Minimum 3 and maximum 5 years

Admission Process: Through GU-RET

Syllabus: Available on




Dr. Anil Boro of the Department delivered two lectures “Ethnic Identity Movements and Folklore in the Context of Northeast India” and “Indigenous Religion of the Bodos of Assam” in the University of Tartu, Estonia on 13th and 14th of March, 2018 under the faculty exchange programme with the University of Tartu, Estonia, Europe


Dr Margaret Lyngdoh, from the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu, delivered two lectures, “How to Understand the Legend Genre” on 30th January and “Examining Perspectives in the Context of the Northeast India Indigenous Ontologies ”on 2nd February, 2018 under the faculty exchange programme with the University of Tartu, Estonia, Europe


Students sent to the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu, Estonia under Dora Fellowship Programme:

1.      Kailash Dutta(2009-10)

2.      Faguna Baramahalia(2012-13)

3.      Pallavi Dutta (2013-14)

4.      Giturani Kalita(2014-2015)

5.      Debajit Sharma(2014-2015)

6.      Bijay Shankar Barman(2014-2015)

7.      Prayasee Dutta (2017)

8.      Anamika Mahanta (2017)

9.      Haripriya Sharma(2018)

10.  Abha Bharali(2018)



 Sl no           name                   title of the thesis                         guide                                                       year


1.      Birendranath Datta..     A study of the folk culture of Goalpara      Prof. P.Goswami        1974

                                     District of Assam 

2.      Suijt  Choudhury     A study of the folk cults of the Bengalis         Prof P.Goswami         1981

                                          of Cachar District 

3.     Nanda Talukdar      Anandaram Dhekiyal Phukan and early         Prof. P.Goswami          1981

                                       nineteenth century Ranasanc ein Assam 

4.     Soumen Sen          Folklore  of the Khasi jayantia Hills : A study     Prof.P.Goswami          1983

                                       of the social and political contexts 

5      .Prabin Ch Das      Hajo: A socio cultural study                              Prof. P.Goswami            1984

6.     S.Gunadhar singh   Growing up in a Meitei Village                        Prof B,Datta.                   1984

7.    Lalruanga                 A Study of Mizo Folk literature                        Prof B Datta.                   1985

8  . N. H Chandra singh   The theme of Khamba thoibi                         Prof PGoswami                1986

                                         and its significance  in  Manipuri culture 

9.  Bhrigumohan Goswami   A Study of the Ojapali art form of Assam  Prof NC Sarma               1986

10.H. Behari singh           A Study of MANIPURI (meitei) Folklore       Prof.    B.Datta                  1986

11. Sunada Ghosh         A study of the Baromasi sings  of Assam       Prof. P.Goswami               1986

                                          and Bengal 

12. Pradipjyoti mahanta   The role of Assam Vaishnavism in the      Prof .B Datta.                      1987

                                          making of Assamese life and culture  

13. Basanta Kumar D.Goswami   A Critical study of the Ramayan     Prof.NC Sarma                   1987


14.Kameswar Brahma         A Study of the socio religious beliefs, pratices,   Prof B.Datta           1989

                                            ceremonies of the Bodos of North Goalapara                  

15..Manisha Behel              Neo Vaishnavism of Assam and its relation to Folk religion  Prof P.Goswami   ----

 16.Jogeswar  Bora            Folk elements in Ram Saraswati    Prof. NC Sarma                                   1990

17 Manoj K Chakavorty    The elephant in The life and lore of Assam and adjoining areas.Prof BDatta. 1990

18 Bijoy Kr Sarma               Festivals of the disctrict of          Prof NC Sarma                                         1990 

19. Nivedita Das Kalita       Ram Saraswati and his works    Prof. NC Sarma                                          1990

20  Rabin SARMA           A study of the major Quasi dramatic    Prof. NC Sarma                                     1991

                                       performing art forms of Undiivided Kamrup

21. R.N.Chioudhury   Folk deities of lower Assam with special reference       Prof B.Datta                        1991

                                    to Goalprara district   

22. Uday Nath              Barpeta as a centre of  Assamese cullure :          Prof. B Datta.                               1992

                                             a study intradition and change 

23.Ganesh Pegu       The Misings of the Brahamputra valley  and theirmfolk songs  Prof NC Sarma          1992    

24. Dwipendra K Barua    Barpeta Sattra : A Study of inter relation between the  Prof NC sarma /DN       1993

                                          sacred complex and urban environment                              Majumadar 

25.Jivan Ch Pathak     Descrptive analysis of the dialiect of Darrang district       Prof .NC Sarma                  1993

26.Dilip Kr Kalita       A Study of the magical beliefs and pratices : with special    Prof B.Datta.                     1993

                                     reference to magic lore of Mayang 

27.Suchita Chaliha      Life and cukutre of the Nishis (with special  Prof B.Datta                                            1993

                                             reference to material cutture )

28  Ananata Kr Sarma   Asamar Manasha pujar eti loka              Dr. PC Das                                                 1994

                                         sanskrtitk adhayan  

29.Bijaya Baruah     Madhab kandalir Ramayanat lokayaata jivanar samal    Prof  NC Sarma                       1994

30.Durgeswar Sarma    Raghunath Mahanta aru teor racahnavalir adhyayan  Prof NCSarma                       1994

31.Umesh Ch Deka    A study of Folklore  and folk life in Rajnikanta              Dr PC Das                               1995

                                       Bordoloi's literary works 

32.KasimAli Ahmed   A study of the Culture of the Muslims of west Assam    Prof.B.Datta                               1995

                                 with spcecial reference  to Muslims of Habraghat area

33 Dhirendra Singha   Folklore and folklife of the Meities of Barak valley         Dr PC Das                               1995

                                     :tradition and change 

34.  Archana Bora       Asamiya carit puthi : eti loka sankritk adhyayan            Dr PCDas                               1995

35. Devjani khanikar   The impact of urbanization on traditional                   Prof. BDatta                                1996

                                    life and culture of tribal people in Guwahati 

36. Basanta kr Bhattacharya     Bholanath dasor Rachanavalit asamiya sankritik   Prof NC Sarma               1996

                                                  paramparar chitra 

37.Bhabendra kr Deka          Asamar Chah banuar samaj aru sanskritir           Prof NC Sarma                      1996

                                              ek samikshatmak adhyayan

38.Jagadish Patgiri              Folklore and folklife as reflected through  modern     Dr PC Das.                        1997

                                               Assamese drama 

39  Promod Haloi                Paschim Nalbarir  sthaniya upabhashar adhyayan      Dr PC Das

40.  Amiya Bharali mahanta  Ram Saraswatir rachavalir bhasa tatvik adhyayan  Prof NC Sarma                  1997

41 Mrinal Kr Borah           Folklore and folklife  of the Pati Rabhas                       Prof NC Sarma                   1998

42. Anima Choudhury      Temples and shrines in and around Guwahati :           Prof.B.Datta                         1999

                                       a sociological and folkloristic exploration   




The Centre for Performing Arts aims to provide training and adequate knowledge in different areas of performing arts. In preparation of the courses, elements of interdisciplinary nature is kept in view and embedded in the courses. The centre holds the provision for inclusion of new courses and modification of presented ones during a given academic year. The centre currently offers the following programme:

One Year Diploma Course in Indian Classical Music (Vocal):

The programme aims to create competent students for higher course in music where the objective would be to create musicians and musicologists, who would excel in near future in the knowledge orientation and practice of music with high musical standards and social relevance. The programme would address the learning about musical functioning and activities at individual and social level. It would facilitate acquiring specialized knowledge inculcating multidimensional values of music and global view point of performance.  

Objectives of the programme:

1.      To train the students in classical music in consonance with recent advances in the discipline of music and to offer them certificate

2.      To enable the students to take creative and analytical approach that combines conceptual repertoire, research practices and excellences in performance whilst keeping in view the traditional values and modern trends of the discipline.

3.      To provide an opportunity to extend the knowledge based on practical and theoretical advancement so as to have healthy interactions at the national/international level.

Programme structure:

1st Semester:

Theory (1 paper)                  : 80 marks

Practical (1 paper)                : 100 marks

Internal Assessment              : 20 marks

2nd Semester:

Theory (1 paper)                  : 80 marks

Practical (1 paper)                : 100 marks

Internal Assessment              : 20 marks  



            The newly introduced P. G.Diploma Course in Classical Music (Vocal) was formally inaugurated on 17th May, 2018  at the Seminar Hall of the Department. 

Shallow Parsai Tools in Indian Languages (Bodo): sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Technology, Govt. Of India, 2014-2017

Musical Instruments of the Communities of the Northeast: sponsored by UGC, 2007-2009

Marai Gaan: sponsored by NFSC, Chennai, 2006-2008

Community Intellectual Property Rights: sponsored by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, 2004


The Journal of Folkloristics, published annually, provides space for research articles covering the fresh and fertile field of folklore and cultural studies still unexplored and unharvested. The journal was earlied published as Bulletin of the Department of Folklore Research, Gauhati University.

Alumni Association: Folklore Research Department


Advisers:                                              Dr Prabin Chandra Das,

                                                                Dr. Kishore Bhattacharjee


President:                                             Dr. Anil Boro


Vice President:                                    Dr. Dilip Kalita


General Secretary:                             Dr. Mrinal Medhi


Asst. General Secretary:                   Dr. Minakshi Bairagi


Treasurer:                                             Dr. Pallabi Borah


Executive Members:         Dr. H K Nath

                                               Dr. Mrinal Borah

Dr. S. P. Saikia

Dr. Susmita Chakrabarty (Bangladesh)

Dr. Mridusmita Mahanta

Dr. Prabalika Sharma

Dr, Gaganjyoti Borah

Dr. Sushil Roy

Dr. Kamalakanta Bori

Dr. Binita Devi

Ms. Latika Das

Ms. Utpala Das

Ms. Anamika Mahanta






FROM 29-30 MARCH , 2019. 


                           2. RELIGIOUS PROCESSES IN NORTHEAST 



                            5.CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND ORALITY 

                            6. FOLKLORE AND TRIBAL LORE

                            7. TRADITION OF PERFORMING ARTS



                           10. FOLKLORE AND POPULAR CULTURE 


                            12. GENDER ISSUES IN FOLKLORE 



                                                  phone 9435349784














Interested students and scholars may contact

  8472054128   email id : 

World Folklore Day 

The World Folklore Day will be observed in the Department on 25th March 2018 with a day long programme of Workshop on Art, Book release , Cultural Programmes and an Invited Lecture to be delivered by Dr Sunil Kumar Dutta, retired professor of Cultural Studies, Tezpur University. A renowened folklore activist of the state, Murulidhar  Das will also be felicitated in the programme.  


Kishore Bhattacharjee
MA (Calcutta) PhD (Gauhati)
Folklore Theory, Folk Narratives, Urban Folklore, Socio-cultural Anthropology

Associate Professor

Anil Kumar Boro Head of the Department
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Folk Literature, Bodo Literature, Post Modernism

Assistant Professor

Jayashri Devi
MA (Gauhati) MPhil (Gauhati ) Nipun (M Mus) PhD (Gauhati)
Folk literature, Vocal Classical, Folk Music
Pallabi Borah
MSc (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Folk Narratives, Social and Cultural Geography