INDIAN DIASPORA TRADITION
Gumrag is performed five times in circles. Drums and cymbols are the usual musical instruments for the dances. during Porag, the harvesting festival, observed in the Murong, the community hall of the Mishings. The priest sings the Ahbang while performing this ritual dance. 22
Selloi is a kind of merrymaking song and dance often performed for fun, by young boys and girls with the accompaniment of drums or cymbols. It marks the beginning of influx of the Mishing people from hills to plains of Assam.
Gumrak Sohman dance is performed on the occasion of Ali-Aye-Ligang. Lotta Sohman dance is performed on any occasion, as an expression of joy or community celebration. Old and young, all join in these dances
Marriage The Mishings are a patrilineal and patrilocal society and so, as per customary law, only the male children are entitled to inherit the property of a family. However, daughters can inherit the clothes and jewellery of their mothers.  Marriages amongst the Mishings take place in four ways: (i) formal marriages through negotiation
Occasionally, all sections of Mising people indulge in singing and dancing lereli in sheer fun and merriment, especially at the meeting of old friends.
(ii) marriage by elopement
Ejug Tapung Sohman is a very ancient form of dance performed to the accompaniment of ejug tapung, a wind instrument resembling the snake charmer’s been.
The most common form of marriage in rural areas is the one by elopement. When a boy is in love with a girl and intends to marry her, but cannot afford the cost of a formal marriage,
WWW.WISHESH.COM | JANUARY 2017
(iii) marriage through a very simple ceremony (iv) marriage by force.
or expects some opposition to the marriage from some quarter, or would like to start a conjugal life without delay, he chooses elopement with the girl as the best option. More often than not, marriages by elopement are followed by due social recognition through simple formalities. Formal marriages are arranged through two or three stages of negotiation, but although arranged by parents or guardians, the marriage of a boy and a girl totally unknown to each other, would be very rare. Polygamy is permissible as per customary law, but it is not looked upon as an act of honour anymore. Polyandry is unknown altogether. Widows or widowers can remarry. Customary law allows divorces, but they are not very common. It is also customary for a groom’s parents or guardians to pay bride price – mostly nominal – to the parents or guardians of the bride. Clan endogamy is taboo.