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After 5-Year Wait, Assamese ‘Gamosa’ Gets GI Tag; CM Extends Congratulations

The mark of identity for the Assamese people – the ‘Gamosa’ has earned the geographical indications (GI) recognition tag. This was confirmed by Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday. Sonowal took to Twitter to extend his congratulations to the people of Assam on having received the GI Tag which is a moment of pride for the state.

‘Gamosa’ is said to be a symbol of the culture and identity of Assam. It is a handwoven rectangular cotton piece of cloth with red borders and different designs and motifs, is traditionally offered to elders and guests as a mark of respect and honour by Assamese people.

A ‘Gamosa’ literally means a towel and is commonly used in Assamese households for day-to-day affairs. It is an integral part of all socio-religious ceremonies in the state and is considered as an Assamese identity.

For specific purposes, it is also made of expensive materials like traditional Assamese ‘Pat’ silk and in different colours as well. A ‘Gamosa’ meant for exchange during ‘Bihu’ festival is known as ‘Bihuwan’. This unique scarf, which is found only in Assam, is also used as a signifier of reverence while decorating altars or covering religious books.

On receiving the GI tag, the product will get now legal protection that will help prevent its unauthorised use.  The application for ‘Gamosa’ was filed to the GI Registry by the Institute of Handicraft Development in Assam’s Golaghat district on 16 October 2017.  After a 5-year wait, it has finally received the IG tag and the state of Assam is in jubilation.

A GI is tagged to primarily agricultural, natural or manufactured products, handicrafts and industrial goods originating from a definite geographical territory.

Congratulating people of Assam, the Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said it was a day of pride for Assam.

Along with Assam ministers Chandra Mohan Patowary, Ajanta Neog, Atul Bora, Pijush Hazarika and Jayanta Malla Baruah, many prominent personalities and hundreds of social media users expressed their happiness over the ‘Gamosa’ getting the GI tag.

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