Friday, February 15, 2008

How many Tanii villages are there ? (1)



What is the exact number of Tanii villages on Ziro plateau ?

At first sight it seems easy to answer this question : Tanii villages are not numerous ; they are also very compact and therefore easily distinguishable from one another.


Aerial view of Old Ziro

Many people assume that there are 7 Tanii villages or lemba, namely Bulla (Biila), Hari, Hong, Hija, Dutta, Mudang-Tage and Michi-Bamin, to which many now also add old Ziro. Those villages are clearly separated from one another by paddy-fields or bamboo groves, and each form a distinct geographical unit as well as a continuous area of habitation. When asked “Which village are you from ?”, most people will answer by the name of one of them only. And for organizing Myoko every year, the grouping of villages is also made according to this seven-fold division.

However, according to the 2001 Census there are not 7, but no less than…. 33 Apatani villages on the plateau...

Apatani villages according to the 2001 Census

NameHouses in 1991Houses in 2001Situation, date of foundation, origin of settlement
1
Abuya
?
58
along the road between Hapoli and Michi-Bamin. Mainly inhabited by people from Michi-Bamin
2
Bamin47
47
part of Michi-Bamin, original village. Situated between Hapoli and Old Ziro.
3
Bree11
11
situated between Hong, Mudang-Tage and Hapoli in the southern part of the valley. Already listed as separate village in the 1971 Census.
4
Bolya46
?
founded before the 70s, 10 houses in 1971
5
Byara111
?

6
Dilo-Polyang (Dilo-Palyang)6
3

7
Diko-Pita22
?
situated in a valley watered by the Kele river (south of Hong). Founded by families from Hong in 1966.
8
Dutta40
114
original village, close to Hija
9
Hakhe-Tari12


10
Hari
268
400
original village
11
Hija
372
381
original village. Situated on the north-western rim of the valley
12
Hong
472
503
original village. Situated on the south-eastern rim of the valley
13
Kalong
96
97
part of Bulla, original village
14
Keiliya (Keinlya)
6
3
close to Hija
15
Khangalia
?
6

16
Laji-Bogya
8


17
Lempia
108
134
separated from Bulla only by a small stream (Tajang Kiile). Founded by families of Tajang.
18
Mani Polyang16
33

19
Michi
60
43
part of Michi-Bamin, original village. Situated between Hapoli and Old Ziro, close to Hija.
20
Myolyang
17
?

21
Mudang-Tage
17 (?)
184
original village, close to Hija.
22
Nenchaliya (Nenchangyang)161
183
close to Old Ziro, along the air-field. Founded around 1970. Mixed settlement from Dutta and Hija.
23
Old Ziro
369
394
established in the early 1950s
24
Pangi
6


25
Reru
223
297
part of Bulla, original village
26
Sibe
26
84
between Hong and Michi-Bamin. Founded by 160 families from Michi-Bamin
27
Sibu
?
3
close to Hija. Founded by families from Hija who had first extended their cultivation there in 1950-51.
28
Siiro
27
100
situated in a valley watered by the Kele river (south of Hong). Founded by families from Hong in 1966.
29
Siya Piro
2
?

30
Tajang
131
131
part of Bulla, original village
31
Talley Valley
1
?
situated south-east of the Ziro Valley, at higher altitude.
32
Taring
16
5
situated beyong Siiro and Diko-Pita
33
Taw-Tibe
4
1

Apparently the geographical, administrative, and sociological definitions of the village do not coincide in Ziro … How can this be explained ?

The administrative conception of village is mostly geographical : a cluster of houses with locally recognized boundaries. The problem arises from the fact that a Tanii village is also a grouping of quarters or wards, each having definite boundaries, and each being inhabited by a specific clan (halu). Moreover, there does not seem to be any specific word in Tanii language to differentiate a quarter from a village : both are called "lemba". Thus Michi-Bamin is a lemba, but Michi alone, where members of the Michi clan reside is also a lemba, and so is Bamin, where members of the Bamin clan originally lived. Similarly but on a larger scale, Reru, Tajang and Kalong each constitutes one lemba, but so is the continuous conglomeration of houses that they form altogether, which is known as Bulla lemba. In addition, different quarters are often, though not always, separated one from another by lanes, streams bamboo groves or even fields.

Therefore, both villages and quarters are good candidates for being recognized by the administration as "villages", as soon as they are visibly separated one from another... This way a village and one of its peripheral quarters are often considered as constituting two separate entities. That is also why very small hamlets often appear in the Census (for eg. Tarin with only 5 houses) along with big villages of several hundreds houses such as Hong and Hari, all of them being listed as "villages".

This is the administrative point of view. In a next post we shall see how the division of the society in villages and quarters is considered by Taniis
themselves.
Hamlet on the outskirts of Hija

PB

4 comments:

more said...

Hi... Nice informations !!
Not an apatani, but had been to many of the listed apatani villages, so inquisitive to know about it.

Good work !!
:)

PB said...

@ more said... Thanks, and do keep on visiting.

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful.We had to wait for two days without food to cross the landslide reach Apatani villages for producing our documentary film in Apatanis in 1992. Now you see Ziro and the people on the the net. I chanced upon the blog. Thanks.good work. Would like to know the creators of this blog.
I produced and directed the 30 mts documentary on Apatanis (one of the early professional one) which had been widely and critically appreciated all over the world.
I have done extensive research on Apatanis. I would like more and people,scholars,anthropologists,UN agencies to see this film.

Prof Durgadas Mukhopadhyay
E-mail: durgadasm@yahoo.co.in

NPR said...

@Prof Durgaprasad,
I was bit occupied with my schedules so is my late reply here.First of all,thanks a lot for your comment here in my blog.I am so excited and glad to hear about your documentary/research on Apatanis.Could you please tell me the links to access those documentary/research papers???