Friday, February 4, 2011


 Arunachal Pradesh is inhabited by people of tribal origin. These groups had distinct culture. In the16th century the AHOM KINGS influenced the region. The population were of Tibeto-Burmese linguistic origin.
The tribe consisted of the Daflas, Bangnis, the Monpas and they were influenced by Buddhist ideals. The Miri along with the Daflas and Tagin lived in the hills. The Apatanis were believed to be more advanced. They were agriculturists.
Besides this the Abor who called themselves as Adi lived in the valley of Arunachal Pradesh. Besides them the Membas, Ramos and Boris formed minor groups. The Mishmis exists as Idus, Taraons, and Kamans. They excelled in handicrafts. Today tourism forms an important source of revenue for the state economy.

           The sparse population of Arunachal is predominantly tribal in character and there are about 20 - 26 major tribes which are divided into a number of sub tribes. The principal tribes are :-
1.    Adis    
2.   Nishi   
3.   Apatani
4.   Tagin      
5.   Mismi         
6.   Khampti     
7.   Noite         
8.   Wancho     
9.   Tangsha      
10.  Singpho      
11. Monpa         
12.  Sherdukpen 
13.   Aka.               

                These tribes speak their own tongues. The major social and cultural events of the state are very much associated with the tribal life. 
              The Adis are the major group of tribes inhabiting the West Siang district. The different sub tribes groups of the Adis are:-
1.       Gallong
2.     Janbe
3.     Karka
4.     Memba
5.     Ashing
6.     Bori
7.     Bogum
8.     Bagi
9.     Pailibo
10.  Minyong
Monship and Rashbeng, dormitories for boys and girls respectively, play an important role in the Adi society. Different sections of the Adis call these institutions by different names such as the PADAMS, DERE etc. 

                                  It is customary for boys and girls to become the members of their respective institutions when they attain the age of ten. They remain in their respective dormitories till their MARRIAGE. There is no restriction for the boys of different Monship to visit girls in their Rashbengs. In course of such visits if a boy and girl happen to like each other, negotiations are carried out between the boys and the girls parents. 

                                 If approved by their parents formal marriage take place according to their custom. The BRIDE after marriage usually continues to live with her parents till the birth of her first CHILD. It is expected that boy in the mean time, would be able to construct a house of his own.
                                 In the Adi society descent is traced through the father and the property devolves on the male line and the CHILDREN belong to the fathers clan. If a child born in an extra martial relation is a boy, he belongs to the father's clan and if it is a girl, she belongs to  mother's clan. The elder son generally set up their separate house-holds even while the father is alive though on principle. They have equal shares on the parents property. They do not dispute with the youngest brother who stays with the parents and inherits the ancestral house by common consent. 

                                 The widowed mother is considered a special responsibility of the eldest son, but in practice, she prefers to live with the youngest under the roof of her deceased husband's home. 



Lisu Girl

                                        The dances, performed by the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, have been broadly divided into four groups. 
·      Ritual dances form the first group, which may again be divided into five sub-groups.
·      The second group is the Festive-dances which forms the recreational part of festivals.
·      Then there are the Recreational dances which neither form part of any particular festival nor ritual.
·      The fourth group is the Pantomimes and Dance-dramas which narrate a mythical story or illustrate a moral. 

·    BAMBOO and cane craft
The availability of cane and bamboo in abundance have made Arunachal Pradesh famous for its cane and bamboo articles. Bamboo and cane are used to make colourful basket mats, cane belts, attractive smoking pipes, jewellery etc. It is also used traditionally by the tribal population for constructing their dwellings, common household utensils, furniture, and even weapons such as bows and arrows, spears, armour, and implements like dibbles, hunting and fishing traps. Most of the household are engaged in making bamboo and cane articles.

·      Weaving

Weaving is another important household industry in Arunachal. Among the tribes the Apatanis are the most advanced weavers. The tribal use bark fibres extracted from trees, goat's hair, human
hair besides cotton and wool for weaving.  They make ceremonial coats and shawls, and embroidered cotton cloth, handbags, skirts and lungis (loin cloths), shawls, sashes, carpets etc. 
·    Wood Carving
Wood carving is a traditional craft among number of tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh. The main centre for woodcarving  in the state is the Wancho area of Tirap district. They make figure heads, warriors, miniature morung, figurines depicting different vocations common to rural life, animal figures, colorful masks and images of Lord Budha   

·    Blacksmithy
The tribes of Arunachal Pradesh make various weapons and tools with metal for their own use. Each tribe specialises in making different items. Daos, arrow heads, knives and iron bracelets as jewellery are some of them. Besides this, products made out of other metals like brass, bone, silver, gold etc. are also produced by the tribes. Some common products are ornaments, dishes, sacred bells, smoking pipes etc
·     Textiles
The textile patterns found among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh such as Adi, Mishmi and Apatani are invariably of geometric pattern. Most popular motives are Zig-Zag lines and angular designs. The floral and Zemorphic patterns are more or less  geometric form. The simple and straight lines, stripes and Aa bands and similar other patterns are most common. Contrasts and combination of colours are quite popular. The highly disciplined Adi and Apatani concentrate on simple straight line, while the strongly individualistic Mishmis go in for great celebration of pattern.                                                                         


1 comment:

reshma M said...
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