Type: Jaw-Harp > Idiophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 121.22
Region: South Asia.
Description: The gogona [in Assamese: গগণা] is a type of jaw harp, a vibrating reed instrument that is used primarily in the traditional Bihu music in Assam. It is made of a piece of bamboo or horn that has a bifurcation on one end.
The jaw-harp is gripped with teeth and the free ends are then struck repeatedly with the fingers to emit the distinctive sound of the gogona. It was originally developed in ancient China [Kouxian] and passed on to the Sino-Tibetan tribes who migrated to Assam, chiefly the Sadiyal Kacharis, Chutias, Deoris, Sonowals.
Types: Ramdhan Gogona [in Assamese: ৰামধন গগণা] is generally played by men. It is shorter, wider & slightly heavier than the Lahori Gogona, to fit properly in a typical man’s hand. This instrument is often tucked in a tongali tied around the performer’s waist or in a vivid Gamusa tied around the head like other instruments like Bahi [Flute] Xutuli etc. Lahori Gogona [in Assamese: লাহৰি গগণা] is made to fit a woman’s hand, so it is slightly slimmer and longer than the Ramdhan Gogona. It is generally tucked into a hair knot while performing the vibrant Bihu dance.