Rongali Bihu: Traditional Instruments Used In Bihu

Pratidin Time

Musical instruments play a pivotal role in Bihu and are heavily inspired by nature and thus, create an enchanting medley of lilting melodies and thumping beats. Here are some important instruments used in Bihu dance –


One of the important and delightful musical instruments of Bihu, ‘Pepa’, is predominantly made of buffalo horn, bamboo, and brass metal flute. It is essentially a wind instrument and is generally played by young Bihuwas during a performance.


‘Dhol’ is a cylindrical wooden drum and is beaten with a bamboo stick and hand to emit a strong, thumping sound. It is one of the most significant parts of Assamese folk culture. It infuses life into the otherwise melodious music with its thundering musical support.


‘Gogona’ is a delicate instrument and is generally played by women using their hands and teeth. It is a small wind instrument made of light and soft bamboo pieces which produces a distinctive sound and requires a high level of skill.


‘Xutuli’ is an instrument in the shape of a half moon. It imitates the sounds of animals and birds and produces a flute-like sound. In Assamese folk culture, people believe that the sound of Xutuli invites rain.


‘Toka’ is a popular instrument used in Assamese folk Music. It is made of Bamboo, and bamboo being the most common produce of the forests in Assam, it is used abundantly by folk musicians. The primary beat of Bihu music was kept by clapping hands, which finally led to the development of instruments like Toka.


‘Taal’ is a percussion instrument used in a pair, is made of bell metal. Taal of different sizes and shape are used in almost all forms of folk music in the region. The tribes of Assam also used different varieties of Taal in their indigenous folk music. 


‘Baahi’ is one of the principle instruments in Bihu and is extensively used in different forms of folk music. It is essentially a flute which is made of bamboo in a cylindrical shape. It is also known as Benu and Muruli in different parts of Assam.