The Ahom Kingdom of Assam is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for nearly 600 years and successfully resisting Mughal Expansion in Assam. It was started by Sukapha, a prince who came to Assam crossing the Patkai mountains. The rule of this dynasty ended with the Burmese invasion of Assam and the subsequent annexation by the British East India Company following the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826. During this period, the British maintained a good relation with some of the Ahom officials. They served the company in various positions and functions. As such, on my recent visit to Naga Gaon in Sivasagar, I came to contact with a family that had good relations with the British officials. The head of the family was a Mahaldar named Buddheswar Gogoi. To maintain good relations, the British officials favoured the family with precious royal belongings as gifts between 1850-1912 that the general public failed to acquire at that period of time. These belongings have been passed through generations and preserved till date.
This photostory is brief account of the royal belongings possessed by the family.
The ancestral home where everything started, which itself was a sign of luxury then.
Wall clock which is working till date.
Safe used to store valuable items.
Wooden tea table that is crafted with Elephant teeth and silver.
Wooden toilet stool, which resembles the present day western toilets.
A tea tray crafted with Gold and Elephant teeth, a true example of artistic sense of that period.
Wooden almirah of that period.
These belongings have been preserved by the family for years, yet they have never received a helping hand from the government or other organisations for proper maintenance of these valuables. But the time has come to stand up for this. If no action is taken then these valuables will vanish very soon. Share as much as you can to create awareness and attract attention of the government or any organisation.
A “dula” or the Bride carrier used during a marriage ceremony.
The oldest living member of the family, with the smallest member of the family.
Photos and write up by: Chiranjeeb Sonowal