Thursday, September 28, 2017

LALING YALU: Explorer of APATANI Plateau

Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf with a Nyishi man in an Apatani village. They appear to be talking, perhaps with a few words of Assamese. (Published in 1978)

Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf was wife of renowned Austrian Ethnologist and Anthropologist Christopher von Fürer-Haimendorf who did extensive fieldwork in Northeastern region of India.

* This item is protected by copyright. Please use in accord with Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC).
Source: Golden Jubilee Nyokum Yulo 2017

Apatanis and Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf

Betty von Fürer-Haimendorf is sitting on a porch railing, with a stack of freshly-cut firewood behind her. She is the centre of attention for a crowd of Apatani men, women and children, some of whom are standing on the notched board that served as steps to the porch.
Courtesy: Ziro Valley


Apatni quotes


DEEMPER MANU KA SUKUN PIITIN HOKA IPA SACHAN".

This quote is applicable to those peoples who inspite of any desired qualities or caliber, they themselves tries to make oneself popular/famous whilst others don't find anything worth in them. Such souls can cross any limit to fend themselves a FAME. 
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Story of Deemper Manu from Apatani folktales goes this way:

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Deemper Manu in Apatani village. She was not very attractive one amongst other village girls. Her tattoos were neither good looking one (as in olden days.. tattoos were believed to be done for beautification) and moreover she was not very hardworking like others villagers (she was the laziest one in her group). This way she always had a brunt of being ugliest and laziest among other village youths. But she always wanted to make her self popular one day.

One night, suddenly some idea struck into her mind. She found a idea to make herself POPULAR. She decided to carry out her idea near community water source SUKUN (Traditional well) of her village.

Early in the morning when dawn hasn't yet arrived, she went near the SUKUN and gave into nature's call - she passed her Latrine in front of the well.

After a while when villagers came to fetch water from well, they were shocked to see the shit and begins to inquire about the culprit. When Deemper Manu hear this news, she was elated and she herself went to village council and voluntarily admitted her deed.

The village council imposed a fine on her consisting of some Livestocks to perform the ritual of Repurifythe village well. Henceforth DEEMPER MANU became very popular amongst Apatani people.
Apatani Folktales

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Apatani Mythology

Qtn: Who was the first person to perform MURUNG??

Ans: According to #Apatani_Mythology, one of our ancestor by name MIPU was the first one to perform MURUNG ritual on this earth.

SUBU ARII/ARW: Horns of MITHUNS

SUBU ARII/ARW: Horns of MITHUNS
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After completion of MURUNG rituals, the horns of mithuns are dried and preserved. These preserved horns (Subu arii) are the trophies for MURUNG performer(specially for the menfolk). In Apatani tradition MITHUNS are counted as one's assets. More the numbers of horns, more wealthy is the family.

Photo courtesy: Kuru Tadii

Photo courtesy: Pascal Bouchery

Photo courtesy: Dani Sulu

Photo courtesy: #Radhe_Becktino

Recent past of Apatani culture °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Recent past of Apatani culture
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Q. What is the uniqueness of this particular photo (no 1)- showing supung yatañ khenii ritual???
Ans: In this particular photo we can see 6 numbers of child brides, that's the reflections from our recent past. In Apatani culture #child_marriageexisted till 70s-80s, later on it was abolished forever.
Present day's #Apatani_girl childs are more luckier in comparison with those of the pasts. With introduction of school education in Ziro, our girls have achieved feats in various fields. Today many of them are studying in various premiere institutions like IITs and IIMs.
Many of our girls have successfully cracked country's toughest and the most prestigious #UPSC exams; many of them have cracked #APPSCexams and there are numerous of administrators within our home state. Today we have administrators, doctors, engineers, lawyers, architects, scientists, teachers, police personnel, sportsman, professionals, bankers, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, yoga teachers, writers, singers, dancers, actors,painters etc.
Note: The credits for such rapid changes in our community goes to our hardworking parents. In spite of they themselves being illiterate (most of them), they could understand the#value_and_importance_of_education_for_girl_childs.
School students from Ziro

#DMING-new fashion sensation by #Rubu_Diming

Apatani girl has became State Level Champion of Delhi state in Karate. She is #Ana_Hibu daughter of IPS #Robin_Hibu

#Sunia_Taru: She wants to be a football player.. best of luck!

#Taku_Ampi-Miss Apatani 2015

#Michi_Yarang : Popular yoga teacher.

Recent past of Apatani culture

Recent past of Apatani culture
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What is the uniqueness of this particular photo showing supung yatañ khenii ritual???
Leave your comments. ....

Photo shared by #Amit_Das
Celebrating #National_Gi
rl_Child_Day on 24th January.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Why did Apatanis practiced TATTOOING and NOSE-PLUGS (TIIPEY-YAPING)?

Why did Apatanis practiced TATTOOING and NOSE-PLUGS (TIIPEY-YAPING)?
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Whenever such question is asked to anyone of us being an Apatani, it could be difficult to answer it instantly. The absence of any written record makes it more difficult for us to give the actual reason for the practice of tattoing and nose-plugs and moreover the exact reason is unknown to us. There are many myths related to this practice as followed:
MYTH 1- To mislead the GHOSTs of enemies those killed in inter villages or inter tribe wars.
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Some elders narrated that in olden days, there used to be CHAMBYO (war) within villages of our community or sometime with other communities and many people were killed. It was believed that the GHOSTs of those who were killed used to haunt and disturb the villagers-particularly girls and women. It is also believed that our NYIBU (Priests) have a supernatural power to identify such ghosts and they encouraged family members of affected people to mark their faces with chinyu/charcoals to create confusion in identifications. This way the practice of permanent marking of faces with TATTOOS might have started.
Note: Being educated and exposed to modernized world, many of us may not believe this myth and rather call it a superstitious belief.
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MYTH 2- To avoid being kidnapped by the neighboring tribes
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a) Some older folks says that they heard about existence of some sub group of Tanii in the vicinity of Ziro by name TANII TARI-e or simply ZIRO TANII. They were recorded as notorious raiders- who used to kidnap beautiful Tanii woman. Thus, to avoid being kidnapped, our Tanii girls/women started practicing tattooing to make themselves look uniform and unattractive.
b) Some other middle aged TANIIs (who are educated) believe that this tale must have been started by the early batches of our TANII educated group. During their early school days, when they were asked by teachers or students from other communities regarding the reason for tattooing one’s face-they replied the same answer and it was believed and the tale continued. This could have happened due to language barrier at that time.
Note: i) who was that sub-group? Till date there is no clear evidence about their existence.
ii) One may note that both TANII men and women had tattooed faces and ear plugs those days.
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MYTH 3-Mythological beliefs
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This is a verse of Ami Niido from YORDA AYU –which is specially held during MURUNG festival. YORDA AYU is a form of MIJI-MIGUN dated from IIPYO-LEMBA and MUDO-LEMBA.
Kui kuli mi bije senyo la,
Kui kupe mi tiipe lenyo la,
Kui kuting mi ruting hugila,
Kuji pu mi byigo kuji pa,
Kusang pu mi pingang kussang pa,
Popi popa mi dimang dimpa pa,
Byundo Tabyung mi nyinding pa,
Radotiira mi map pa hempo la,
Talu myopu mi pyunyo la,
Talo myokha mi khenyo la.
Mudo Amyo poro ho,
Jindo Tajing mi pamung murii do,hetea terii do.
(shared by Mr. DANI TASSER in whatsapp group).
Here “Kui kupe mi tiipe lenyo la” reveals that TIIPE (Tattoo) was practiced by TANIIs from time immemorial.
This excerpt taken from “Silver Jubilee Dree Souvenir, 2000” give details about Mythological beliefs on practice of tattooing amongst Apatani. The softcopy version was provided by Respected Mr. GYATI RANA.
SIGNIFICANCE OF TATTOO AMONG THE APATANIIS (TIIPE PAKO NIING)
By Prof. PURA TADO, Dept. of Political Science Arunachal University, Now Rajiv Gandhi University.
Once upon a time there was a very beautiful lady called Ami Niidon Biinyi. She was very beautiful and was expert in all trades which a lady was expected to know. She was waiting for someone to propose her for marriage. Unfortunately for her, time passed by and no one came forward to propose her. She was growing older day by day yet no one was ready to marry her. Along with her growing age she would lose her capacity to be a mother. This thought made her sleepless and made her older. She could not bear her predicament anymore and one day decided to ask God to solve her problem. Accordingly she asked God to tell her ways by which she could regain her lost youth and beautiful once again so she could attract somebody to marry her. “In order to regain your youth and beauty and capacity to be mother, you must tattoo your face and to have lot of poultry and cattle to support you, you must wear Nose plug (Yaping hulo), Ear plug (Yaru Hukho) and rutting yarang (Large flat brass ring)” God told and advice her.
As per direction of the God, Ami Niido Biinyi tattooed her face, put on nose plugs, wore Ruting Yarang, Lo!! And behold she became very young again and very beautiful to look at. Her beauty attracted Miido Jindo Tajing towards her and he proposed to marry Ami niido Biinyi. She accepted the marriage proposal of Jindo Tazing and they married and lived happily ever. Their marriage results in birth of Khalos. They also had lot of poultry and cattle. The Birds and animals in the jungle were their poultry and cattle.When Pinsang Gyut, one among the Khalos, was born he saw some design on the pine Tree. He wanted these design to be with him and copied it from Pine Tree. Thus Apatani/ Tanii copied Tattoing from Pinsang Gyut and the tattooing became part of Tanii culture. However, the culture of tattooing themselves among Apa Taniis have been given up completely since last twenty five years years back. Along with it culture of wearing ear, nose plug and Ruting Yarang has also disappeared.
From the above mythological story we find that tattooing was adopted by Ami Niido Biinyi in order to restore her youth, beauty and fertility. As a result of tattooing herself she regained her beauty, youth and become mother of all the khalos. Khalos are clans inhabiting various areas in the Earth. The Apatani being small in number compared to other communities surrounding them even to-day must have been very less in number in ancient time. Their strong urge to increase their population for self preservation must have made them copy the tattooing of Ami Niido Biinyi to be fertile fecund as her .In Order to support the increased population and their needs, one needs more livestock’s indeed. To achieves this goal wearing of big nose plugs and Ruting Yarang was encouraged amongst the ladies of Apatani. And it is logical, household economy in Apatani communication is managed by the ladies.
The designs of the tattoos have been copied by the Pinsang Gyute from Pine tree. Pine Tree are plenty in the Tanii Land – Ziro. Indeed, there are designs to be found in a pine Tree both externally as well as internally. Moreover, in Festivals related to fertility and prosperity like Murung, Subu and Myoko, Pine wood alone is used in ritual even to-day.
Thus, this mythological story throws light on some aspects of the Apatani culture and life. It also leads us to some aspect of Apatani/Tanii history and ambience surrounding it in ancient time. In short, the Apatani used tattoos, ear and nose plugs and Ruting Yarang to buttress their psychological needs to face the inhospitable environments surrounding them in early days. And indeed, it has done well in overcoming adverse environment and survives till date.
Note: This article is based on an interview the author had with Sri Takhe Piilo, a priest from Hangu (or Hong) on 11th May 1998. The inferences are that of author.
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These are the three myths that I came across on Apatani tiipe-yaping (tattooing and nose-plugs) and I m sure more myths must be existing on this regard. According to my personal understanding on the history of tattooing and nose-plugs practice amongst Apatani community of the past years, I found MYTH No. 3 as a most appropriate one. In previous posts on Tiipe-Yaping, I found many curious youngsters who wanted to know the actual reason behind it. Many of them commented that they heard only about the MYTH no. 2.(a). Thus, I feel it’s very important for us to share our knowledge on Tattooing to younger generations. The other remaining myths can’t be as much true as one told by our POPI-SARMIN i.e. MIJI-MIGUN teller like NYIBU, because MIJI-MIGUNG is the only transcendent knowledge that we have from our forefathers in a form of ORAL folktales/folklores (i.e. Biisi, Ayu, Bari etc.).
To conclude this post, I personally feel that tattooing and nose plugs were practiced for the purpose of BEAUTIFICATION, FERTILITY and mark of arrival of PUBERTY.
Lastly, let me also share one real life experience shared by one of the popular Apatani Police personnel .He shared that during his job interview, he was asked for the reason behind tattooing amongst Apatani women. He says, he answered the MYTH No. 2(a) as the reason. Very lately he realises about existing of mythological beliefs on the same and he wasn't aware of it by then. Such questions will be asked to anyone of us (Tanii) time and again.
‪#‎apatanibeliefontattooing‬
‪#‎uniquenoseplugs‬
‪#‎oldendaysapatani‬
‪#‎mythsonapatanitattooing‬
‪#‎whyapatanitattooed‬

Hardworking Apatanis of ZIRO valley

On the eve of International Labour Day, being APATANI I would like to remind myself and other brethrens that our forefathers were not a‪#‎LABOUR‬ SHY people. Those hard working forefathers always lived their life with dignity.Let us not forget that-today's much loved tourist destination Ane Ziro is because of their hard work. Are we still the same???
For any hard working person, ‪#‎Ziro‬ is the best place to make livelihood with pleasant weather and favourable atmosphere. If one is not LABOUR SHY he/she can earn enough and don't need to look for job anywhere else..... that's my thought on Labour Day.

Research on Apatani Tattooing

Next time when you are asked for the reason behind Apatani women's tattooing and nose-plugs..... tell them about existence of mythological beliefs on this practice. We have well written article on the same by our own eminent scholar Prof PURA TADO.
‪#‎mythologicalbeliefsontattoo‬
‪#‎apatanimythologicalbeliefs‬
‪#‎profpuratado‬ ‪#‎monagaontanii‬
‪#‎reasonsforpracticingtattoo‬
‪#‎reasonsforpracticingnoseplugs‬

‪#‎reasonsforpracticingnoseplugs‬

Life with grandparents

Did you spend your childhood with your grandparents?
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Lucky are those children who spent time with their grandparents. And more luckier are those grandparents who lived long enough to hold their offsprings in their arms.
No niika ato-ayo agin ho sopa monto ha?
Billo aba-apa lulya niike ah-
"Hime ronge, akha ronge".
Siika kiidi apiñ daka miyu-mima sala dunii bo hemi kone miteř akha khago kema.
Photo courtesy: Manabendra Choudhury