Reba Kanta Mohanta



Born on 19 April 1935 in Sri Sri Khatpar Satra of Sivasagar district in Assam, Shri Reba Kanta Mahanta is accomplished in Sattriya dance, Ankiya Bhaona and mask-making traditions of Assam. Since childhood he was introduced to the indigenous art of making articles from bamboo by his father Late Gopikanta Mahanta. Under his father's tutelage Shri Reba Kanta Mahanta was groomed in the Sattra culture of Assam learning the nuances of Sattriya music, dance, Khol Badan, and instrument-making, primarily focusing on the art of Sattriya mask-making. He has participated in various mask-making workshops and exhibitions organized by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Asom Satra Mahasabha, and Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, and his masks have been procured by distinguished museums for display like the Indian Museum, Kolkata; National Museum, Washington, U.S.A.; and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. In 1989 he participated in the National Exhibition and Workshop on Masks organized by the Crafts Council of India. The masks prepared by him during the workshop were procured for display in the national museums of Russia and Japan.
Shri Mahanta represented the State of Assam in the Republic Day Parade of 2003. The theme of the tableau was based on the mask-making traditions of Assam. In 2004, the Cultural Affairs Department of the Government of India recognized him as an expert on mask-making, and he was entrusted to train young students under the Guru-Shishya Parampara Scheme administered by the North East Zonal Cultural Centre. In 2010, the Handloom and Textile Department of the Government of India honoured him with the title of Shilpa Guru.
At present Shri Mahanta resides in his native place in Sri Sri Khatpar Sattra and is actively teaching and training young students in the art of Sattriya dance, Ankiya Bhaona and the mask-making traditions of Assam.
Shri Reba Kanta Mahanta receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2014 for his contribution to the mask-making tradition of Assam.