bears clear evidence of many aspects of Indian classical dances like hasta,
etc. The Oja wears pag-jama
or ghuri, bangles, unti, ring and nupur,
and ties a tangali
. The classification of
Svaras by Oja-Palis into
ghora, mantra and tara corresponds to the Indian classification of
udara, mudra and tara. The songs sung by Ojas: malaci or malanci geets
and jagar are Sanskritic language; they also sing a kind of mixed song,
Patsha geet. They are written under Muslim influence.
Oja- Pali is a group of chorus singers and dancers. The Oja is the leader
of the chorus, the Palis are his assistants and the Daina Pali is the
principal assistant. The number of assistants may be three, four or more.
They dance, play small cymbals and sing stories from the Epics and the
There are three kinds of Oja-Pali dances, namely - Vyasageet
Oja, Suknarayani Oja and Ramayani Oja.
(1) The Oja-Pali of Vyasageet mainly sings the songs
of the Vaishnava cult. Here, the themes of the dances are adopted from
the stories from Bhagavata, Mahabharata and Harivamsa. The make up of
a Vyasa Oja differs from that of a Sukanarayani Oja. The Vyasa Oja wears
a long white skirt, a tight fitting jacket, a turban of a particular shape,
anklets and various other gold ornaments of the neck, hand and ear
(2) The other Oja named Suknarayani chants mainly the
hymns of the snake goddess, Manasa composed by Sukabi Narayan Dev, an
Assamese poet of the olden days. The theme of the dance is the story of
Behula and Lakhindar which is mainly connected with goddess Manasa. The
costume of this kind of Oja consist of a long shirt known as Chapkan,
a white Dhoti, a Chaddur, a pointed turban and various gold ornaments
of the wrist, neck and ears.
(3) The third variety of Oja, Ramayani Oja, puts the
costume akin to Vyasa Oja and sings only the songs from the Ramayana.
Unfortunately, this kind of Ramayani Oja-Pali is disappearing slowly.
All the three kinds of Oja-Pali dances have reached exquisite perfection
in Karana, i.e. posture and Angahaara, i.e. gesture.