THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF NORTHEAST INDIA
Twenty – eitht main ethnic groups, of which 110 subgroups exist, inhabit Arunachal Pradesh, 78 lives in India’s second smallest state Tripura, 23 in Meghalaya, 25 in Nagaland, 17 Mizoram, 13 Manipur and more than 20 in Assam – an overwelming and almost inconveceivable ethnic diversity in an area covering approx. 250000 sq. km. Northeast India represents a sort of ethnological transition zone betweeen India and neighbouring China, Tibet, Burma and Bangladesh. Yet the ancestor of many ethnic groups living here hailed from far, further – flung regions, as may be surmised from the languages spoken and the creation myths of the tribes living here. It is conceivable that the peoples who settled in the area came during the great migrations, some , 3000 yaers ago.
Major tribes of Assam earn their livelihood through agriculture, and have their own rich cultural identity. And because of geographic unity and acceptability to change and mix, they added quintessence to Assamese folk music, thus forming the soul of it. Mahapurux Sakardeva formally blended the more formal Indian Classical music, but while doing so, he maintained the traditional ingredients of the region. Gurujona's influence is even visible in some tribal folk music.
All tribes has their own music hence, indigenous musical instruments, used in different festivals. Under this category, the Musical instruments of the tribes are listed under page for the particular tribes.
We are mentioned the tribes which you can visit and experience their culture and tradition.
- The Bodos
- The Mishings
- The Karbis
- The Tae- Phakes
- The Khamtis
- The Singphos
- The Tea–Tribe
- The Deuris
Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh largely includes the tribes like adis, Apatanis, Buguns, Hrusso, Singphos, Mishmis, Monpas,Nyishi, Sherdukpens, Tagins, Khamtis, Wanchos, Noctes, Yobin and Khambas and Membas.
Adis- The Adis have two main divisions, (the Bogum and Bomis) and under each there are a number of sub-tribes. By nature, the Adis are democratic and organised. Their villagecouncil is called Kebang. Their villages are usually situated on the spurs of hills. Adi women are very good weavers.
Apatanis - The Apatanis are settled agriculturists. They inhabit the valley around Ziro-the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. They are good cultivators and practice both wet and terrace cultivation.
Buguns - The Buguns are also agriculturist and perform a number of rites and ceremonies for their welfare. By nature, they are gentle, hospitable and affectionate people.
Singphos - The Singphos reside on the banks of Tengapani and Noa Dehang rivers. They are agriculturists and expert blacksmiths. The Singphos women are good weavers.
Mishmis - Mishmis form the bulk of the population of Lohit, Upper Dibang Valley and Lower Dibang Valley districts. They are divided into three main groups including Idus or Chulikatas, Digarus or Taroan and Mijus or Kaman. Agriculture is the main occupation of Mishmis. However, they are also good traders. The chief items of trade are deermusk, wildmedicinal plants, animal skins, etc.
Monpas - The Monpas possess a rich heritage of culture. By nature, they are simple, gentle and courteous.
Nyishi - The Nyishi are the largest groups of people inhabiting the major part of Lower Subansiri district. The men of this tribe keep their hair long and tie it in a knot just above the forehead. They wear cane bands around the waist. This tribe believes that after death the spirit of a dead travels to the 'village of the ancestors'.
Sherdukpens - The Sherdukpens are a small tribe and their religion is a blend of Mahayana Buddhism and tribal magico-religious beliefs. They are good agriculturist but trade is their main interest.
Tagins - The Tagins are main inhabitant of Upper Sunansiri district. Agriculture is their main occupation.
Khamtis - It is believed that the Khamtis have migrated from the Shan states of Burma. They are Buddhist (Hinayana cult) by religion, and bury the dead in a coffin.
Khambas and Membas - The Khambas and Membas inhabit the northern part of West Siang. They are Buddhist by religion. Agricultural is their main occupation.
The tribal life of Arunachal Pradesh has been largely representative which include a number of traditions.
Nagaland has a rich linguistic tradition with as many languages as there are tribes, each exclusive to itself. What is even more remarkable is that even within the language of a particular tribe, there are dialects mutually unintelligible. For instance, in some tribes like the Angami, every village has a slightly different variation even within the same dialect-this variance progressively increasing with the geographical distance. This makes inter-tribe and intra-tribe communication very difficult. In the circumstances, English has come to serve as the State language while Nagamese, a kind of pidgin Assamese, has become the common lingua.
There are seventeen tribes in Nagaland. We are focusing some of the major tribes
- Angami –
- Phom -
- Konyak -
- Chakhesang -
- Rengma -
- Zeliang -
All the tribes have their own festivals which they hold so dear. They regard their festivals sacrosanct and participation in celebration is compulsory. They celebrate their distinct seasonal festivals with a pageantry of colour and a feast of music.