Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!!!!!!!

This post is particularly posted to wish "HAPPY NEW YEAR -2008 " to the readers of this blog. On the eve of a New year, I m praying to the almight Ayo Danyi and Ato Piilo to bless us with a peace and harmony for entire mankind. I hope this coming new year-2008 is going to bring lots of happiness and prosperity in everybody's life. Here goes the famous song number on New Year wish from Tanii collection from Popi Sarmin-I.

Here, in this song it is saying that - on this auspicious time of new year, we are sending a new year wish to all those friends who are near and far. Specially those who are at far away places, though we can not see each other our wishes are always with you. Though letters and news can not reach at you the right time, do remember us in the eve of new year as because we always do remember you and feel yoour presence even in the absence. Happy new year....happy new year.....happy new year to you.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Learning Apatani language - Body parts 1 - the face

I wish this post can be useful to all those who are not (anymore ?) fluent in Tanii. With the help of my friends I have tried to collect as many words as I could relating to the vocabulary of head and face, as spoken in daily use. But some of them couldn’t be recalled. Does anyone know them, or know some more ?

click on the picture to enlarge

basic parts

?wrinkle line
khenyi amusideburns
mogo alocheekbone
lanyanback of the neck
miji lanchuAdam’s apple


mitin amueyebrow
mibu amueyelash
ami-miriline of the eyelid
ami nuriiris (or iris and pupil altogether ?)


yaru-rutuupper part of the ear
yaru pimiear lobe
yaru ubuear hole
ruhiear wax

yapin-pinyannose bridge
yapin ubunostril
tano piiyinasal mucous/discharge

gonchancorner of the mouth
gommumustache/ beard
ayo nyachuupper lip
akan nyachulower lip

mouth (inside)

hipyaincisor tooth
diipyo ahicanine tooth
?baby tooth
?wisdom tooth

P. Bouchery

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The verb 'to cut' in Tanii

Apatani is an amazing language. Several times I have heard people from NE say that their languages are ‘poor’ because they have no ‘gender’ nor ‘grammar’. It is true that most of them lack grammatical gender (as in Japanese, Chinese and in fact most East Asian languages) and that as a rule gender distinction is made when necessary, not systematically. It is true also that most of them don’t have a conjugational system equivalent for eg. to English tenses and moods. But it certainly DOES NOT mean that these languages are less elaborate !!!

As a matter of fact the subtlety of these languages lies elsewhere. Let’s consider for eg. the verb ‘TO CUT’ in Tanii. To denote an action which, in English, is rendered by only one word I have counted no less than…. 16 distinct verbs !

PA : to cut with a machete (dao, ilyo in Tanii)
TA : to cut with axe or spade
CHE : to cut with scissors
PI : to cut by razor or knife
O : to cut/till with spade
TII : to cut trees
PHO : 1. to cut logs; 2. to cut/chop bamboos to make containers
NI : to cut tree branches (in order to make trees grow straight and tall, esp. pine trees)
PI-I : to cut ears of corn for harvest
GYA : to cut stalks of millet for harvest
RII : 1. to cut into very small pieces (mince or powder); 2. to cut longer leaves of fully grown millet plants at the time of their transfer from nursery to fields.
PO : to cut bamboo stems into smaller sections
NYAR : to cut bamboos to make them sharp and pointed
KHEN : to cut someone else's bamboos as an act of revenge.
KHU : to cut legs of slaughtered animals
PIPHO/ MIIPHO : to cut oneself accidentally with some sharp material (knife, razor, bamboo splits, cane wickers, etc.)

Thus, using one syllable words, Apatani language is able to express :

1/ what is actually cut (trees, logs, branches, bamboos, bamboo sticks, ears of corn, millet stalks, millet leaves, legs of killed animals …)
2/ the tool that is used for cutting (dao, blade, knife, razor, axe, spade…)
3/ the way it is cut (accidentaly, intentionally as an act of vengeance, into small pieces, into shorter sections, as to make sharp and pointed items …)

It does not end here. For each of these verbs or verbal roots, a more specific meaning can be conveyed by adding appropriate suffixes. For eg., with the verb PA (cutting with dao) :

PATU-PAPO : to cut sth/sb (with dao) into pieces
PAMII : to cut meat (with dao) into small pieces
PAKHII : to cut meat with bone (with dao) into small pieces
PACHE : to cut something (with dao) so as to divide it
PALII : to cut something in
PAKUN-PAMU : to cut (with dao) hurriedly
PASU : to cut oneself (with dao)
PALO : to cut sth down (with dao) (for eg. a branch)
PADU : to cut sth down so as to destroy it (with dao)

Who said these languages are poor ?

P. Bouchery

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tanii Aju-I

Apatanis are known for their excellence in arts and crafts. Both men and women are very creative in arts and crafts making. In this post I have tried to bring out some of the artefacts that we used in typical Apatani households, though some of them are on the verge of vanishing, and others have already become obsolete due to modernisation.

These are the artefacts used in daily life. Punyu are made up of bamboo splits and yaju is a mug made of bamboo. Embin khanchu is the lided basket made of cane wicker and used for storing husked rice. Nowadays these are being replaced by steel spoons, plastic/metal mugs and containers.
These are the traditional haversacks used by Tanii men in olden days. Still menfolk in villages use Lera for carrying foods and other stuffs during their long distance journeys, e.g. visiting neighbouring places and jungle trips. The use of Lecha is limited to some rituals related only. People don't use this for daily purpose, this is a kind of warrior dress of Taniis. Lera and Lecha are only used by menfolk of the community.

Yatii: this is the traditional rain shield consisting of a framework of cane wickers or bamboo splits covered with the dried leaves of some trees. This is used by both Tanii men and women. Nowadays, only very few people are making use of Yatii. This has been replaced by umbrellas and rain coats.

Chiru: this is a typical hand made leather bag used by Apatani men. Chiru were generally made from hides of domesticated animal such as cows and dogs. It is no longer used by Taniis of the present generation. The practice of making chiru has almost vanished as youths no longer use them. They have been replaced by hand woven bags or those bought from markets.
Siitin is the warrior's shield used by Tanii menfolk in olden days. In present days, Siitin is used for other traditional rituals as well as for a decoration purpose. In every Tanii house it is prefered to have one siitin to represent the presence of menfolk in the family. Subu Saha, as the name indicates, is the plaited cane rope used for capturing and taming cattle, i.e. mithuns (Bos frontalis, subu in Tanii) and cows.

Yasan Yara: In Apatani households we have got many type of baskets made of cane wickers as well as of bamboo splits, and each of them is made for a specific purpose. Yasan Yara is the netted cane basket made for fetching firewood from nearby bije (bamboo groove) or more (forest).

(These photos are taken from Tanii Aju-The Heritages Photos Archives of Apatanis authored by-Gyati Kobin(APCS))

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ngunu Ganda-Ziro

Ngunu ka Ziro ganda, ngunu Tanii miyu mika dri hullo bulyin giiko ganda. Ngunu ganda si supun hoka kapyoja ganda ako…putu-puko, myodi-yasi si ano kapyo do. Yapun hoka jormu si ano kapyodo, kille-sigan hoka yasi si kiilo-kiilo, aji-lyapyo sii salyi kiina. Takun apu, piita apu, sembo apu, papi apu, bagan rinyo pulyin lyi ho ngunu Ziro hii ano kapyoja. Ngunu ka Ziro mi Arunachal Pradesh hoka kapyoja ganda ako pa kidu. Hopa, ngunu Tanii miyu atan si ato ganda mi darii-pyabya dopa bula doko da ano ayakendo!

Billo anyan ho, ngunu ka aba-apa atan hii bije-siko, more-giira, aji-lyapyo mi ano aya butii. Hopa billo anyan so Ziro si taka koso ano kapyotii. Billo, gari-paji ka abu domaran so, miyu atan ka abu dulinmaran so, ngunu Ziro si ano kapyoyatii. Siinyan-sillo miyu mima abuyapa dulin lala kula, ngunu ka diinan-tananii, yasi-yamu pa sali-sapa mi pako so ngunu ka Ziro si alo lolin lyi kamyan jami ano karu yala do. Siisi ngunu Tanii miyu atan si hendi biido la more mopa daka sali-sapa atan mi gobii chibii mako da arida alyi nii anyan so ngunu ka Ziro hii karu yane do. Ngunu ato ganda mi, aya pa kalyan-talyan biido koda sii ano ayakendo nii.

Ngunu Tanii mulangru aha phuye pa giila, ngunu ka Ziro mi kapyodopa busa. Ziro hoka sanii-sanko mi tiima/pamasa. Ato ka bije-more so abu yapa bije/sanii alyi biisa. Aji-lyapyo miter darii-pyabya dopa bunya sa. Sigan-siley miter kacho mado pa bunya sa. Ato ka lengo-byago, ari-apii, ali-lenda miter darii dopa busa. Ngunu ganda mi supun ho kiiningjapa, kapyojapa, dariijapa busa.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Apatani language appears on Free Language website

“Let us save Tanii” has recently been included in the Free Language list of learning language blogs. Free Language is a well known website whose aim is to “document and categorize quality available resources for learning languages" (such as English, Hindi and many more..). Most of these resources are free, and it is nice to see Apatani (Tanii agung) appear on this website. Here is their comment : Save Tanii Language Blog and Website

Save Tanii Logo

"Got an email the other day from the person that runs the Save Tanii Website.

It is, indeed, a sad thing to lose a language. I wish the best to this project and hope that it succeeds in bringing some attention to the language and culture of the Apatani people."

Thanks to the author of this post.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Google Earth vs Yahoo Maps for Ziro Plateau

Yahoo maps proves to be better than Google earth for displaying an overall view of Ziro plateau :

At least Hapoli and the main villages are clearly visible, as well as roads between them. But, as for other towns of Arunachal Pradesh, it soon becomes a blur when you try to zoom to locate the houses or streets... Here there is not much difference between the two. You can try it from Google earth or Yahoo Local Maps.
***Location of Ziro in India Map