Guwahati: Jonbeel Mela, famous for the ancient form of barter system, has been cancelled this year due to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Indigenous to the Tiwa community, the Jonbeel Mela has been cancelled this year owing to the resurgence of Covid cases in the state and disallowing crowd to contain the spread of the infection.
The Mela committee members have unanimously called for the cancellation of the Jonbeel Mela.
But keeping the tradition in mind, only 100-150 people will be allowed to participate in the barter system sans mega crowd of shoppers and visitors.
‘Jonbeel Mela’ is considered to be the only regular event on the planet where the barter system is still practised. The Jonbeel festival attracts people in large numbers from Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi, Rabha and Jaintia communities living in the border villages of Meghalaya and Assam.
Jonbeel Mela is a three-day annual indigenous Tiwa Community fair held at the weekend of Magh Bihu at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel.
It is 3 km from Jagiroad in the Morigaon district of Assam and 32 km from Guwahati. Where colourful tents and a tall Ferris wheel adorn the horizon in preparation for a 500-year-old indigenous fair, held since the early 17th century (some accounts place its origin in the 15th century).
The fair is organized under the patronage of the Gobha kingdom. Gobha King along with his courtiers visits the mela and collects taxes from his subjects. People perform their traditional dance and music, making the atmosphere one of joy and fun.