CULTURE - BOAT MAKING
Boat making is the main occupation of people from Salmara, Borgayon, Nawsali. 3000 families from these villages are dependent on this traditional craft of making boats. Traditionally, boats were made of Azhar wood which is presently very costly. Hence, the chief material used for construction of boats is the wood from Semalo tree, Uriam, Outenga, Atrocarpus chaplasha (Samkathal) and Hijal tree which are locally available in plenty. Traditionally, single piece of wood from a big tree was used to make boats called Guttaiya nao. Today boats are made from split timber. Boats are named on the basis of the use they are put to. Traditional hacksaws and blades, chisels and rivets are still used to make boats.
The economics of boat making is dependent on a sustainable cycle of production and consumption of boats on the island. Presently, the production of boats is on a small scale. There is a ready market available in the nearby areas and also within Majuli which helps to sustain this traditional craft.