JAGIROAD, Jan 19 - Even in this era of globalisation, the barter system of economy, which had been in prevalence during the days of yore, continues to have its acceptance in a token manner among the hill and plain Tiwas and other communities of middle Assam, which witnessed the recurrent phenomenon at the historic Junbeel Pathar for the second day today during the ongoing three-day Junbeel Mela.
The Junbeel Mela, it may be mentioned, is a traditional post-harvest fair being held since yesterday at a place on the banks of Jonbeel, 4 kms from Jagiroad in Morigaon district in the presence of a large gathering.
As per tradition and at the direction of the ceremonial �king� of the erstwhile Gobha kingdom, Deepsing Deo-Raja, the age-old barter system of trade began early in the morning in the presence of over 7000 hills people from Karbi Anglong district and some from outside the State, like Meghalaya etc.
The tribal people bartered some essential items such as ginger, lac, indigo, mats etc to procure various traditional cakes, fried rice powder, dried fish etc from the plains people. With the necessary food items collected from the plains people, the tribals are now all set to celebrate Magh Bihu. Tomorrow, Uruka of the Gobha tribals will be celebrated.
The popular past-time of community fishing at Junbeel, the natural waterbody after which the Mela has been named, and in which all groups of people join hands is another important event which was witnessed today afternoon.
Community fishing at Junbeel is a vital part of the festival which is conducted subject to permission by the Gobha Deo-raja Rajdarbar. It plays a big role in fostering the spirit of friendship among the different communities.
While inaugurating the unique barter trade, Morigaon MLA Rama Kanta Deuri in his speech explained the significance of the age-old Junbeel Mela. He further appealed to the thousands of hills and plains people assembled at the mela ground to maintain peace and tranquility at this massive get-together organised every year.
A cultural programme of the Gobha Raja was organised at the mela site where ethnic groups performed on ancient cultures with their traditional dresses.
Tomorrow, the penultimate day of the mela, a Raj Darbar along with an open session will be organised at the mela ground in which 18 Rajas from various kingdoms under Middle Assam, besides other dignitaries from the tribe and other distinguished guests of the State also attend the occasion.
Sources informed that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will attend the open session.