HAUGUDU AND KORI KHEL: HERITAGE AND EVOLUTION
Since time immemorial, various traditional games have been being played in Assam as leisure time activity or on the occasion of different festivals. Initially, people were not competitive regarding these games. They usually resorted to frolicking after a day of hard work, to rid themselves of the physical and mental fatigue. Some of the folk games received royal patronage and were recognized as state games. With the passage of time, the rules for the traditional games were, to some extent, changed. Some of the games have disappeared over the years. On the other hand, some games have been modified and transformed. The games that were patronized by the Ahom rulers (Swargadeo), have been recognized as the state games of Assam. One such popular game of ancient Assam was Kori Khel. Usually played during Bohag Bihu, Kori Khel can be played by men and women of all age groups. This game was popular even in the inner circle of the Tai-Ahom royalty. Another game that was popular in ancient Assam was Haugudu. Young boys played this game by singing and forming a circle. As times changed, these games also went through various changes. It can be said that a popular game of the present times, Ludo is a descendant of Kori Khel and Haugudu was an ancestor of the now popular Kabaddi. This research paper makes an attempt to highlight the significance of Haugudu and Kori Khel in the Assamese folk culture and the evolution thereof.