Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region

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Here are the notes/solutions/answers to the questions for history (social science) chapter 5 Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region of class 10 (HSLC) for students studying under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA). These notes/answers, however, should only be used for references and modifications/changes can be made wherever possible.

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Very short answer type questions of Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region

1. What was the eastern border of the Indus Valley civilization extended up to Ganga Valley?

Answer: The eastern border included the Harappa and Mahenjadoro that extended from Sindhu valley to Merrat in Ganga valley.

2. When was the town culture developed during the Indus Valley Civilisation?

Answer: During the Indus Valley Civilisation, the town culture developed around 2600 BC.

3. What was the presumed time of writing of the Rig Veda?

Answer: The Rig Veda was written between 1500 BC to 1000 BC.

4. The term Satyameva Jayate in the National symbol was taken from which book?

Answer: The term Satyameva Jayate in the National symbol was taken from Mundak Upanishad.

5. Which book did establish the term ‘unity in diversity’?

Answer: The term ‘unity in diversity’ was established by Nehru in his book, “Discovery of India”.

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11. Hornbill festival of Nagaland is based on which name of organism?

Answer: Hornbill festival of Nagaland is based on the Hornbill bird.

12. The traditional festival Chapchar Kut belong to which state?

Answer: The famous festival, ‘ChapcharKut’, belong to Mizoram.

13. What is the meaning of the word Mizo?

Answer: The term, ‘Mizo’, means ‘inhabitants of the hill’.

14. Which state of the North East has a matriarchal society?

Answer: The state of Meghalaya has a matriarchal society. 

15. What is the main theme of Manipuri dance?

Answer: The main theme of Manipuri Dance is on the basis of the childhood of the saint Chaitanya and of Lord Krishna.

16. What is the ancient name of Assam?

Answer: The ancient names of Assam were Pragjyotishpur and Kamrup.

17. From which Bodo word the name Assam is considered to be derived?

Answer: The name Assam is considered to be derived from the Bodo word ‘ha-chom’.

18. What is Charyapada?

Answer: Charyapada is a written Assamese literature. It is a collection of songs.

19. When was the Charyapada written?

Answer: Charyapada was written between the 10th to 14th centuries.

20. Under whose patronage did Madhab Kandali translate the Saptakanda Ramayana?

Answer: Under the patronage of Barahi King Mahamanikya, Madhab Kandali translated the Saptakanda Ramayana.

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27. Which artist got the Padmashree award for her contribution to folk songs?

Answer: Pratima Pande Baruah got the Padmashree award for her contribution to folk songs.

28. What is the name of the first news magazine of Assam?

Answer: Arundoi was the first Assamese news magazine.

29. Which tribe of North East is a part of the Austric ethnic group?

Answer: The Khasi tribe of Meghalaya is a part of the Austric ethnic group.

30. Name the writers of the books: Arthashastra, Hashtividyarnava, Kirtan, Naamghosa, Chordhora aru Pimpara Goshowa, Kaliya Daman, Ramvijoy, Katha Geeta, Rajtarangini, Bharat Sambhed.

Answer: The writers of these books are as under:

Arthashastra:  Kautilya
Hashtividyarnava: SukumarBorkaith
Kirtan: Sankardeva
Naamghosa: Madhavdev
Chordhora aru Pimpara Goshowa: Sankardev
Kaliya Daman: Sankardev
Ramvijoy: Sankardev
Katha Geeta: Bhattadeva
Rajtarangini: Kalhana
Bharat Sambhed: Jawaharlal Nehru

Short answer type questions of Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region

1. Write the names of two foreign communities which came to India after the 6th century.

Answer: The two foreign communities which came to India after the 6th century are:

i. Greek and
ii. Portuguese

2. Name two statues used for worshipping and which were discovered during Indus Valley civilisation.

Answer: Two statues used for worshipping and which were discovered during Indus Valley civilisation are Shivalinga and Mother Goddess with symbols of Swastika.

3. Mention two contributions of the Austric to Indian culture.

Answer: Two contributions of the Austric to Indian culture are as under:

i. Cultivation of rice.
ii. Use of sindoor in religious works.

4. How does the geography of India play a role in creating cultural diversity of India?

Answer: Some areas of the country have fertile land and the communication system is much improved, while some areas do not have these facilities which create geographical diversity. Thus, the geography of India plays a role in creating cultural diversity of India.

5. Write the names of the four Samhitas of the Vedas.

Answer: The four Samhitas of the Vedas are as follows:

i. Rigveda
ii. Samaveda
iii. Yajurveda
iv. Atharvaveda

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11. Write the names of two Moghul emperors who patronised arts.

Answer: Two Moghul emperors who patronised arts were:

i. Akbar and
ii. Jahangir

12. Write the names of two pictorial books written in “Sanchipat” in Assam.

Answer: Two pictorial books written in “Sanchipat” in Assam are:

i. Kumor Horon and
ii. Geet Govindo

13. Write the names of the two painters of Hastibidyamava.

Answer: The names of the two painters of Hastibidyamava are as follows:

i. Dilbar and
ii. Dosai

14. What is jhum cultivation?

Answer: It is known as slash and burn agriculture. It is the process of growing crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetable and burning them thereafter.

15. What is Zeng bihu?

Answer: Zeng Bihu is an ancient form of Bihu Dance performed by women in Upper Assam.

16. Write two divisions of Ojhapali.

Answer: Two divisions of Ojhapali are as follows:

i. Byash Ojha and
ii. Sukannani Ojha

17. Write the names of two philosophers of ancient India. 

Answer: Two philosophers of ancient India are:

i. Chanakya and
ii. Adi Shankaracharya

18. Write names of two histories written during the Ahom era.

Answer: Two histories written during the Ahom era are as follows:

i. Deodhai and
ii. Hemkosh

19. Write the names of two homogenous festivals of Bihu celebrated in lower Assam.

Answer: Two homogenous festivals of Bihu celebrated in lower Assam are:

i. Magh Bihu and
ii. Kati Bihu

20. Write the names of two folk dances of Darrang.

Answer: Two folk dances of Darrang are:

i. Tea folks’ Jhumur Naach
ii. Bodo’s Bagurumba Folk Dance

21. What are the main ethnic groups of India?

Answer: Before the Dravidians or Mediterraneans and the Nordic Aryans arrived in India, other groups of people such as the Proto-Australoids, Negros, Austrics, and then the Mongoloids and Western Brachcephalics arrived and began to settle there.

22. Write three factors that create unity among cultural diversity in India.

Answer: Three factors that create unity among cultural diversity in India are as follows:

i. Hinduism’s multi-culturalism, political unity created by empires of various ages, and religious and cultural generosity of various rulers have all contributed to unity.
ii. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata also brought various parts of the country into contact with the mainstream of culture.
iii. Cultural exchange appears to bind the country’s various groups together. The issues that cause diversity, in turn, unite the parts in a different way.

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31. By what names the first seven days of Rongali Bihu are commonly known?

Answer: The seven days of Bohag (Rongali) Bihu are known as ‘Chot’, ‘Kutum’, ‘Mela’ ‘Raati’, ‘Goru’, ‘Manuh’ and ‘Chera’.

32. What are the main subject matters of Kamrupi and Goalparia folk songs?

Answer: The appeasement of Maa Manasa, stories of Lord Krishna, and other religious stories are the main subjects of Kamrupi loka geet or folk songs. The main themes of Goalpariya folk songs are nature and love stories. Goalpariya folk songs tell stories of love with natural descriptions.

33. Name three books where the ancient names of Assam- Kamrup and Pragjyotishpur are mentioned.

Answer: Three books where the ancient names of Assam- Kamrup and Pragjyotishpur are mentioned are Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Vishnu Puran. 

Long answer type questions of Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region

1. Write briefly on the source and development of multi-culturalism in India.

Answer: The two main characteristics of Indian culture are multi-culturalism and unity in diversity. 

The respect that different groups of people in the country have for each other’s cultural heritage and traditions is referred to as multi-culturalism. During India’s freedom struggle, leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, and others popularized the phrase “unity in diversity.”

Despite their linguistic, religious, geographical, and economic diversity, Indians share a common bond. Several factors have contributed to this unity. Hinduism’s multi-culturalism, political unity created by empires of various ages, and religious and cultural generosity of various rulers all contributed to this unity. The Ramayana and Mahabharata also brought different parts of the country into contact with mainstream culture. Furthermore, cultural exchange appears to connect the country’s various groups. The issues that cause diversity, in turn, unite the components in other ways. If two groups are geographically separated, they may be linked by language or religion; if some are religiously distinct, they may be linked geographically or by language.

2. The soul of Indian culture and civilization is regarded to be existed in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India- discuss the meaning of the sentence.

Answer: The old Sanskrit literature of India may be regarded as the soul of Indian culture and civilization. 

These writings truly reflect the people’s ways of life at the time, as well as their values, beliefs, and knowledge in various fields such as medical treatment, engineering science, and politics. These books are the result of the great personalities of the time’s serious studies, deep insight, and tireless intellectual exercise. These writings also had a significant impact on shaping Indian society and bringing about cultural unity. These great books spread values such as respect for parents, teachers (Gurus), guests, the pursuit of knowledge and scholars, and Hinduism’s four-caste system. These books also popularised concepts such as transmigration, liberation (mokshya), heaven and hell, sin-virtue, and so on.

Universal messages such as ‘Satyameba Jayate’ from the Mundak Upanishad, ‘Ahimsa param dharma’ from the Mahabharata, ‘Janani Janmabhumi scha Swargadapi Gariyashi’ from the Ramayana, and ‘Basudhaiba Kutumbakam’ from the Mohopanishad, among others, have served as the foundation of the Indian value system. These Sanskrit writings were later translated into other Indian languages. The great values of these books have been followed hierarchically in Indian families in terms of group singing (Nam-kirtan), customs and traditions, and so on. The teachings of these books have been adopted as life values by the people.

3. Write about religious traditions in India.

Answer: Various forms of worship were observed during the Indus Valley civilization, and various Gods and Goddesses were worshipped by the people. However, belief in a single supreme power (God) existed in the Vedic system as well. Similarly, India’s ancient religious tradition accepted the principle of tolerance, coexistence, and assimilation of new religious traditions or traditions. They also valued reforms, change, and even disagreements within their own beliefs. Over time, religious beliefs in India evolved to include new forms of worship, and there was no conflict between Hindus and adherents of the Buddha and Jain religions. The kings also accepted religious tolerance, and Emperor Ashoka always maintained that no one’s religion should be considered superior to others. Later on, people of various religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and others arrived in India. In addition to the major religions, India has a large number of local ethnic-religious faiths.

4. Write how the common and separate identity of the North-East is developed.

Answer: Because of its distinct geographical boundaries, the north-eastern region has developed a distinct common identity. The fertile Brahmaputra and Barak Valley plains are in the centre, with the other states distributed to the north, south, and east. The surrounding states are all hilly. As a result of its natural setting, Assam is used as a central location for convenient transportation connections by all states. Civilization is thought to have developed in the Brahmaputra valley even in prehistoric times, but written history is only available after the Barman rulers took power in the 4th century. At various times, the rulers of neighbouring states either expressed their subordination or obeyed the rulers of Assam’s powerful royal families. During the reign of the Ahom royal families (1228 – 1826 A.D.), information on the above relationship between the neighbouring states can be found in histories written at the time. The ruling families were married to each other, and during times of crisis, the kingdoms aided each other with military might. Messengers were used to establishing communication between the kingdoms. Bartering of various items took place between kingdoms as well. As a result, people’s unity and integrity were established. The majority of the people in the region are Mongoloid, while the Khasis of Meghalaya are Austric.

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9. Why the cultural diversity, assimilation and change are taking place more rapidly in Assam than the other states of the region? 

Answer: Cultural diversity, assimilation and change are taking place rapidly in Assam because it has one of the most fertile land resources and natural resources in the region. Assam also has the richest mixture of culture and cultural heritage which is changing Assam rapidly. Assam’s culture is believed to be developed over 750 years in the first millennium which also provided stages for assimilation of the different cultural-mixes and intensities. Furthermore, natural resources and fertile land, particularly in the Brahmaputra valley, have contributed to the state’s wealth. Assam was once linked to China via the great silk route, and China was linked to the Roman Empire via Assam. Since ancient times, various groups of people have come to Assam for various reasons, including business, pilgrimage, and even trading, and some of them have stayed.

Assam is home to many of India’s major ethnic groups. Assimilation occurred in Assam, as it did throughout India. As a result, a mixed culture emerged.

10. Really the society is like a book for studying the folk culture- provide your views on this issue.

Answer: Assam has a diverse cultural heritage. In addition to the common cultural heritage, each tribe and subtribe has its own rich traditional cultural heritage. Every tribe has its own dialects, folklore, ornaments, food habits, housing culture, agriculture, fishing culture, various festivals, cane and bamboo style, family and social relationships, customs and traditions, dresses, music, traditional musical instruments, and so on. Folk culture reflects a society’s or community’s natural feelings and expressions. People acquire these traditional cultures that have been practised for years without any formal training. However, only through careful observation can a person comprehend the traditions of another culture. So, in a sense, the society is a book for studying Assamese folk culture. To learn valuable elements of folk culture, one must observe the activities and behaviours of the society’s common people.

Write short notes on the following of Cultural Heritage of India and North East Region

1. Sculptures of ancient India.

Answer: During ancient times, Indian sculpture reached its pinnacle of glory, and beautiful eye-catching sculptures were created dating back to the days of the Indus Valley civilization. Ancient sculptures were created using soils, stones, bronze, copper, silver, and gold, among other materials. Ancient Indian sculptures in their own styles were also mounted with foreign designs. Several statues of this type, crafted with micro artistic hands, can be found throughout India. People erected statues of Gautam Buddha, Mahavir, various Hindu Gods and Goddesses, fairies, and even various Buddhist animals. The animal statues carved on the tops of the Ashoka Pillars are linked to Gautam Buddha’s life and are significant elements of Indian culture. Gandhara, Mathura, and Amarawati sculptures are the three major categories of ancient Indian sculptures.

2. Indian paintings.

Answer: The paintings of ancient India are broadly classified into two types: large wall paintings and smaller paintings. The smaller paintings were mostly used for decoration and pictorial descriptions in the books. Paintings in both styles were created on the walls of Ajanta (Maharashtra), Bagh (Madhya Pradesh), Chittanavachal (Tamilnadu), and other locations. Among these are the world-famous Ajanta Cave paintings. Smaller paintings were done on the barks of the Sanchi tree (Sanchipat), silk cloth, and other materials as early as the 10th century in places like Assam, Rajasthan, Orissa (Odisha), Mysore (Kamataka), Tanjore, and others. These were created primarily to demonstrate pictorial descriptions of the books’ texts.

The culture of six skills (saranga) of painting began in the first century B.C. This includes (1) shape, (2) measurement, (3) feelings expressing techniques, (4) artistic presentation, (5) similarity knowledge, and (6) brush rule.

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5. Architectures of Assam.

Answer: The majority of Assam’s old architecture was built during the middle ages under the patronage of the Ahom and Koch kings. The famous architectures of the time, such as Rong Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Talatal Ghar, and a number of temples built by the Ahom kings, still bear witness to the architecture of the time. The most famous temples built during that time period include Kamakhya, Ugratara, Umananda, Shiva Doul, Devi Doul, Fakua Doul, Sukreswar-Devalaya Temple; Shiva temples in Dergaon and Bishwanath, Navagraha, and others. The temples were typically built in the Nagar or Vesara styles. Stones and bricks were used in the construction of buildings at the time. The Rong Ghar was built in two stories to accommodate the Bihu festival celebrations in the courtyard. The Rong Ghar’s roof was designed in the shape of a play-boat (Khel-nao). Several stone bridges were also built during the reign of the Ahom kings. The bridges at Namdang, Darika, and Dinjoy are still in use.

6. Vaishnavite literature of Assam. 

Answer: The Vaishnavite movement, founded in the 15th century by Sankaradeva and Madhabdeva, had a wide-ranging impact on Assamese life. This religious movement had a significant impact on Assamese literature, and a great deal of poetry, songs, prose, charitputhi, drama, and other works were written during this period. The main themes of these literary works included the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Purana, Hindu religious theories, and so on. Sankaradeva and Madhabdeva wrote a number of classics themselves. Sankardeva’s Kirtan, Madhabdeva’s Namghosha, and both gurus’ Borgeets were the most popular. Sankardeva’s plays (Ankiya Naats) for Patniprasad, Kaliya Daman, Keli Gopal, Rukmini Haran, Parijat Haran, Ram Bijay; Madhabdeva’s Dadhi Mathan and his Jhumuras ‘Chordhara’ and ‘Pimpara’. , Guchowa’, and so on are performed in front of large crowds at Namghar and Satras. Sankardeva’s first naat (drama), Chihnajatra, was even written and staged before Shakespeare’s drama.

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9. Historical literature of Assam. 

Answer: The Barman dynasty, which began in the middle of the fourth century, and subsequent royal dynasties used Sanskrit as the official language, followed by Assamese (which evolved from Sanskrit). However, the modern Assamese language emerged after passing through several stages of evolution from Sanskrit. Since the publication of the first Assamese journal, ‘Arunodoi,’ the modern form of the Assamese language has been evolving. From the 10th to the 14th centuries, the only written Assamese literature was primarily a collection of songs known as Charyapada. Hem Saraswati, Rudra Kandali, Haribar Bipra, Kaviratna Saraswati, and Madhab Kandali created verse literature based on Purana and other ancient Indian epics in the 14th century. Mahamanikya, the Barahi King, was a patron of Madhab Kandali. The kings of Kamata supported other scholars. It is worth noting that Madhab Kandali translated the Ramayana into Assamese, titled ‘Saptakanda Ramayana,’ which was the first work of Sanskrit translation into a North Indian language.

10. Bihu festival.

Answer: Assam’s community festival is called Bihu. Assam has three bihu festivals: Bohag (Rangali) bihu, Kati (Kongali) bihu, and Magh (Bhogali) bihu. Bihus are observed during the months of Bohag (Baishag), Kati (Kartik), and Magh. All Assamese celebrate Bihu with traditional merriment. The Bohag Bihu festival is observed from the last day of the Assamese month of Sot (Chait) to the first six days of the month of Bohag. The last day of the month is known as Sankranti or Domahi, and it is celebrated as “garu bihu” (bihu festival for the cows). Cows play an important role in the lives of the Assamese people, who rely heavily on agriculture, which is why the day is dedicated to them. The bihu dance is accompanied by various instruments such as Dhol (Drum), horn pipe (pepa), flutes (siphoong of Bodos), gagana, and so on, which vary by community. Other festivals that are similar to Bahag bihu are observed in some places. Among these are Deul in Darrang, Bhatheli, Suweri, Bar Gopal, and other rituals in old (undivided) Kamrup, and Baash puja in Goalpara.

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