Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms

“Thou shall not pay you money for the goods I buy from you.” This statement is sure to scare the living daylights out of any person in the business of trading. But there is congregation of villagers in Assam’s Morigaon district who agree to the above statement.

Confused?! Well, this is the ‘Jonbeel Mela’ – an annual occasion where a huge bazaar or ‘Mela’ is held. Tribes like Karbi, khasi, Tiwa and Jayantia come down from the hills with their products and interchange their merchandise with the local people in a barter system. It is perhaps the only fair in India where barter system still exists at least for these three days.

‘Jonbeel Mela’ is a three-day community fair held the weekend of ‘Magh Bihu’ at a historic place known as ‘Dayang Belguri’ at ‘Jonbeel’. It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Marigaon district of Assam and 32 km from Guwahati. The ‘Jonbeel’ (Jon and Beel are Assamese terms for the Moon and a wetland respectively) is so called because a large natural water body is shaped like a crescent moon.

This festival demonstrates the age old barter system in a very interesting way. The event starts off with ‘Agni Puja’ where the locals pay homage to the ‘God of Fire’. After the ‘Puja’, the locals get together to fish in the wetland which is called ‘JonBeel’. The visitors to the ‘Mela’ and the participating tribes engage in freewheeling exchange of commodities. Typically you will find families from the hills bringing in herbs, spices and exotic fruits which are found only in those places and then exchanging them with rice, fish preparations and ‘pitha’ sweets as the latter cannot be found in the hills. The 3 (three) day ‘Mela’ sees participation of over 1000 Tribes. It is a splendid example of communal harmony as all of them eat and laugh together ultimately behaving like a large and happy family.

If you visit Assam during January then don’t miss out on the ‘Jonbeel Mela’. If you are lucky you will get to see the cockfights, Assamese traditional dances and fish exhibitions that are held during this time. This festival is a glorious representation of the age old barter system prevalent among the ancient tribes.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness an age old practice that is on the verge of extinction at the Jonbeel Mela, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Fresh Fishes for Barter Trade by the North East India Tribal Lady at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Tribal Lady brewing the ‘Apong’ – Locally prepared Alcohol of the Tribes of North East India

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Indigenous Local Spices for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Indigenous North East India Bamboo and Cane Handicrafts for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours
Metal Goods for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Indigenous Metal Swords of Assam for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Indigenous Handicrafts and Handlooms for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Bamboo Handicrafts for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Wooden Toys for Barter Trade at Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Barter Trade Festival, North East India Traditional Festivals, Festivals of Assam, North East India Tribes and Tours, Assam Handicrafts and Handlooms
Man Brewing fresh local alcohol and serving the Khorika – the Assamese Barbecue

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
Welcome to the 600 year old tradition of the TIWA tribes of North East India ~ the Festival of Barter Trade at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
Traitional Metal Crafts of the TIWA Tribes of North East India on display at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
TIWA Tribes Handlooms fo Barter Trade at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
Bodo handlooms at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
Bamboo Handicrafts at the Jonbeel Mela in Morigaon, India.

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
‘Khorika’ ~ the Assamese Barbecue at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
Men at Work! Pork ready to be Barbecued at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
The Traditional Liquor of the Mishing Tribes ~ ‘SAI MOD’ being freshly brewed at the Jonbeel Mela

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festival of Barter Trade Assam, Jonbeel Mela Festival Assam, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of Assam, Tiwa Tribes of North East India, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India
The Jonbeel Mela 2016 in Morigaon, India.

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India