The Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha Award, 2019 will be conferred to mask artisan Reba Kanta Mahanta and Manipuri dance exponent Laitjonam Ebampisok Devi. The Assam government announced the name of the awardee on Friday and the award ceremony will be held at Tahsil Maidan in Rongjuli of Goalpara district on the occasion of Bishnu Rabha Divas on June 20.
The award comprises of cash amount of Rs.2lakhs, a certificate and an angavastra which will be handed over by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Reba Kanta Mahanta is accomplished in Sattriya Dance, Ankiya Bhaona and other mask making traditions in the state. Born on April 19, 1935, Mahanta hails from Sivasagar district.
Mahanta’s masks have been procured by reputed national and international museums for display in their halls. He was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2014.
On the other hand, Manipuri dancer Laitjonam Devi has enthralled the audiences with her various folk dances like Eswai Nritya, Krishna Nritya, Moirangsai Nritya, Nimai Sanyasi, Yogi Bhesh, Rasleela Nritya, Naitam Nritya and others.
Devi was a gold medalist who received medal of Manipur government in 1990. She also received Tombi Devi gold medal in 1990, gold medal of Manipur Sahitya Parishad in 1998.
She was also enlisted under the Silpi Pension of the Assam Government.