Vaishnava saint Sankaradeva is the creator of a unique dramatic form, the Angkia Bhaona, which were written in Assamese, Maithili and Sanskrit. Since dance and music plays an important role in his dramas, he was also an innovator in that art form.
Sankaradeva translated several cantos of the Ramayana and the Bhagawata, compiled a number of episodes and wrote plays and songs. To perpetuate the recital of Vaishnava classics and the performance of dramas, and the spread of Vaishnava teachings. He established monasteries in Assam, and his disciples carried the torch of Sankaradeva’s gospel to different parts of Assam by the processes initiated by their master. The Sattras are still in existence and age has not staled their sanctity and popularity.
Poetry was not the only medium of propagating the Vaishnava cult. Brajabuli prose was introduced in the dramas.
Angkiya Bhaona is an integral part of Vaishnava culture. Plays written by Sankaradeva and Madhabdeva are depicted in a drama form. The several Sattradhikars and Vaishnava scholars are also wrote and directed many dramas. The name of the drama written by Sankaradeva is Sihna Yatra, Kaliya Daman, Keli Gopal, Ram Vijay, Rukmini Haran, Parijat Haran, Patni Prasad.
Actors clad in gorgeous dresses to enact the various mythological figures. Actors also ware mask in face and body, where character demands.
These photos are from “Ram Vijay”. Played by students of Late Rameshwar Saikia Borbayan. All characters are under 14.