GUWAHATI, June 15: Assam government has announced that the Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha Award 2019 will be conferred on mask artisan Reba Kanta Mahanta and Manipuri dance exponent Laitjonam Ebampisok Devi. The award ceremony will be held at Tahsil Maidan in Rongjuli area of Goalpara district on the occasion of Bishnu Rabha Divas on June 20.
The award comprises cash amount of Rs 2 lakh, a certificate and an angavastra. The award will be handed over by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Assam cultural affairs minister Naba Kumar Doley, Guwahati Lok Sabha MP Queen Oja among others will attend the award ceremony.
Born on April 19, 1935 in Khatpar Satra of Sivasagar district, Reba Kanta Mahanta is accomplished in Satriya dance, Ankiya Bhaona and other mask making traditions in the state.
He has participated in various mask-making workshops and exhibitions organised by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Asom Satra Mahasabha and Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra.
Mahanta’s masks have been procured by reputed national and international museums for display in their halls.
Mahanta was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2014. Manipuri danseuse Laitjonam Ebampisok Devi has enthralled the audiences over the years with her various folk dance forms like Eswai Nritya , Krishna Nritya , Moirangsai Nritya, Nimai Sanyasi, Yogi Bhesh, Rasleela Nritya, Naitam Nritya and so on.
She has received the gold medal of Manipur government in 1990, Tombi Devi gold medal in 1990, the gold medal of Manipur Sahitya Parishad in 1998.
The dancer has also been enlisted under the Silpi Pension of the Assam government.