11 Types of Ghosts Folklore Legends in Assamese Culture With AI Photo

This article is written and artwork is created by Chinmoy Barma Check Profile

Assamese folklore is a rich repository of fascinating legends and ghost stories that have been passed down through generations. These tales have captivated the imagination of the people of Assam for centuries and continue to be an integral part of their cultural heritage.

Assamese folklore is replete with tales of gods and goddesses, spirits and demons, heroes and villains, and supernatural phenomena.

What makes Assamese folklore and ghost stories so compelling is the vividness of the storytelling and the rich cultural context in which they are set. These tales are often passed down orally, from generation to generation, and are deeply ingrained in the fabric of Assamese society. They provide insight into the history, traditions, and beliefs of the people of Assam and offer a fascinating glimpse into their collective psyche.

11 Types of Ghosts Folklore Legends in Assamese Culture With AI Photo

We have tried to recreate the Stories we all have heard in our childhood with the artworks done with the help of artificial intelligence. 

The folklore legends and Ghosts we have covered in our series part 1 so far are :

1: বিৰা/Bira

বিৰা/Bira Photo Ghost In Assamese

“Bira” is said to have created immense wealth for their masters. 

Biras are often associated with physical phenomena such as beating up someone, violet activities.

They eat alot of food and the master should be able to fulfil their demands. 

Unlike other types of ghosts, Biras are said to be able to interact with the physical world in a more direct way, and are often associated with individuals who are going through a period of emotional stress or upheaval.

 In some cases, the Bira's activity may be a manifestation of the person's own emotional turmoil.

Bira have been the subject of many myths and legends and are often portrayed as frightening and malevolent entities. However, some researchers believe that Bira's activity may have a psychological rather than supernatural explanation, and may be linked to subconscious psychokinetic abilities or other forms of paranormal activity.

2: Jokhini | "যখিনী" 

Jokhini | "যখিনী" Photo Ghost In Assamese

Jokhini is a ghost from Assamese folklore. 

 It is believed that during rainy season she gets naked and climbs up to a tree just to make fun of Indra and That's why we can see lightening falling on the tall trees as Indra attempts to strike her.

It is believed that a woman becomes a jokhini if she does with her unfulfilled desires .

It is said that Jokhini visits a pregnant lady to steal her child from her . In many places , reports of having someone standing next to the pregnant lady is heard. Many told me that they had seen shadows under the door and unusually knockings at night wherever the pregnant lady is sleeping.

Many believes that Jokhini tries to lure men and kill them.

3: Kon bhoot

It is a 3 legged creature with no neck and an eye on his chest. This is regarded to be the king of the ghosts. 

This is believed to have looked really scary and harmful in nature. This has the strength of mauling several human beings at the same time.

4 : ঘোঁৰাপাক : Ghorapak 

is one of the most feared legend/ghost in Assamese folklore.'Ghora' means horse. This ghost is part horse and part human. Ghorapak is mostly seen in the river banks, ponds and swampy areas at night. Generally, people who go fishing at night face this ghost. sometimes it changes to a fully human state and can control humans. It knows everyone's name. It loves to eat fish.

5 : Puwali bhoot | পোৱালি ভূত

Puwali Bhoots are mischiveous ghosts of the sizes of children who steal rice and sweets from the kitchen. Not necessarily harmless, they are said to have got the power of killing a being in a group if challenged or denied food

6 : Bamboo Ghost 

The Bamboo Ghost is a creature that is said to live in the bamboo groves of Assam, a state in northeastern India. According to local legend, the Bamboo Ghost's primary target is people who are passing through the bamboo groves. The Bamboo Ghost is said to be mischievous and dangerous, and it has a variety of tricks up its sleeve to cause harm to unsuspecting travelers.

One of the Bamboo Ghost's favorite tactics is to drop a bamboo branch on the head of someone who is walking under the grove. Another tactic is to lay a bamboo branch across the path and snap it back when someone tries to step over it, causing them to fall or get injured. It's important to note that this creature is a mythical being, and there is no scientific evidence to support its existence. It is likely that the legend of the Bamboo Ghost serves as a cautionary tale to warn people to be careful while traveling through bamboo groves, which can be hazardous places due to falling branches and other natural hazards.

7 : Bordoisila | বৰদৈচিলা

Bordoisila is a prominent figure in Assamese mythology, and she is known as the storm goddess. According to the Assamese tradition, she is believed to cause thunderstorms, strong winds, and rainfall during the month of April.

Legend has it that Bordoisila is married to the god of thunder and lightning, and she visits her mother's house during the Assamese new year, which is usually celebrated around mid-April. However, when it's time for her to return to her husband's house, she becomes angry and throws a tantrum, causing storms and heavy rains.

This belief is based on the observation of the weather patterns during this time of the year, as Assam experiences heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during the month of April. The story of Bordoisila serves as a way to explain this natural phenomenon in a cultural and mythological context.

8 : Burha Dangoriya| বুঢ়া ডাঙৰীয়া 

Burha Dangoriya বুঢ়া ডাঙৰীয়া Types of Ghosts Folklore Legends in Assamese Culture With Photo (1) (1)

Burha Dangoriya is a revered spiritual figure in the Assamese culture of India. "Burha" means "old" or "great" in Assamese, and "Dangoriya" refers to the Dangoria community that traditionally served as the protectors of Namghars, the community places of worship.

Burha Dangoriya is believed to be a holy spirit who protects the Namghars and the sacred Bhagvat Gita that is kept inside them. He is often depicted as an old man dressed in white clothes and a white turban. Some stories also describe him as riding a white horse while carrying a sword and a shield, symbolizing his role as a protector.

Namghars are the centers of community life in Assam, where people come together to worship, sing devotional songs, and participate in cultural activities. Burha Dangoriya is considered to be the guardian of these sacred spaces and is believed to ward off evil spirits and negative energies.

The reverence for Burha Dangoriya is deeply ingrained in the Assamese culture, and his legend has been passed down through generations. People often offer prayers and seek his blessings before entering a Namghar. His presence is believed to bring peace, prosperity, and protection to the community.

9. পিশাচ | Pixaas

Pixaas is a bloodthirsty demon. It is a common motif in many mythologies and religions. A Pixaas, in many belief systems, is an evil spirit or supernatural entity that is often associated with chaos, destruction, and malevolence. The idea of a Pixaas refers to a demon that is said to crave or require blood for sustenance or as part of its destructive nature.

In some cultures, pixaas is believed to be supernatural entities that possess humans and cause them to commit heinous acts, including murder and mutilation. Some pixaas are also believed to feed on the blood or life force of living beings, often causing illness or death in their victims.

10 : Baak | বাঁক

The baak is a creature that appears frequently in folktales across Assam. It is typically found near water bodies and is known to be malevolent, often causing trouble for fishermen and other locals. The baak has a particular fondness for fish and can be dangerous, sometimes even drowning its victims.

According to folklore, the baak has a pouch attached to it that contains its soul. Destroying this pouch is the only way to kill a baak. Additionally, the baak is said to assume the form of its victim after death or possess them, sometimes going on to live with the victim's family and attempting to harm them as well.

To avoid encountering a baak, carrying a torn fishing net is said to be effective, as baaks are believed to be afraid of it. In some stories, the baak assumes the form of a man to live with his wife.

In "Assamese Demonology," Benudhar Rajkhowa classifies Assamese spirits into sub-terrananian, terrestrial, aerial, and celestial categories, placing the baak among the terrestrial spirits. Within this category, the baak is classified as an aqueous spirit and is listed as the first of five major aqueous spirits.

A folk idiom often used to connect the baak to water is "Hanhor uporot xiyal roja, Pota pukhurit bak roja."

11 : Jaukar paal | জাউকাৰ পাল

Jaukar paal usually roams around in a group. They are of short statured and black skin-colored. Usually, at midnight, they roam around from one side to another of a road . They are afraid of human beings. 

They feed off unidentified, unattended dead bodies. When someone leaves a dead body half burnt, it is said jaukar paal devours the remaining human flesh. 

It is believed that they finish off the flesh and make the dead man free from the belongings of their mortal life.

Written and AI art by Chinmoy Barma