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 This has been replaced by umbrellas and rain coats.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 They have been replaced by hand woven bags or those bought from markets.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))


speechmaker said...

wow... nice one.

left me wondering about the rich possibilities of still documenting the various artifacts of our culture..
and btw is that fur-like thing really from a tree? that would be interesting.. possibilities?

NPR said...

Thanks buddy!!!
Even I was thinking that those fur like materials must be the hair of a wild boar. From the documetations, it seems to be derived from a tree which is called as a Tama-Amu.

Buru said...

It is actually a type of palm tree which grows at high altitudes(usu 5000ft amsl or more).
The 'hair'is very tough,and it is expertly and laboriously incorporated during manufacture. and the haversack was mainly used for hunting and in war--it is waterproof; and a sword cut to the back is harmlessly absorbed, though less so for a spear and no protection from an arrow.

Even today many Tani tribesmen in interior villages use it.

NPR said...

Thanks a lot for your information. Is that palm tree edible one?? I heard there is one type of palm or some kind of tree called Tasse in Tanii but, i m not sure whether that tree gives such fur like thing or not.

Buru said...

NPR, it is similar to Tasse/Tache/Tachi but not the same.

Tasse also grow in high altitudes and used to be the emergency food during lean seasons for all Tani groups.The Tasse flour can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, heated under fire inside leaves or fried and eaten. It is said to be very good for constipation due to high fibre content and also to reduce weight in the obese.Producing Tasse used to be a communal affair in the past.Till a few years back Tasse used to be a major food for remote people in Tali/Sarli/Nacho/Nyapin etc thanks to the diversion of rice/wheat of PDS by our leaders to outside the state.
You can get Tasse powder sold in markets of NLG?Itanagar today! You must try Tasse Halwa, its really good!

Tasse 'hair'are not thick or long enough for said purpose.
Tama-Amu hair is also used for tying the fletches onto arrowshafts.

NPR said...

Thanks a lot...u seems to be very knowlegeable abt the ethnic taste and stuffs....why don't u post some article for my blog here???I will be really appreciate u for ur need not to be only about Apatani...u can post abt anything on Arunchal Pradesh.

Buru said...

I have only limited knowledge.In fact a large part of my life I have been outside AP but makes the most of it when back. It really riles me when I see youth of AP knowing nothing about own culture when they spend their whole life in AP! My BP goes sky-high when they speak ONLY Hindi(local accent)and know nothing of their mother tongue to boot##@%&#!To compound it they keep fancy names like Vishaal Nabam, Pawan Ete, Hano Ramesh grrr. ha ha?
I shall contribute my mite as and when I find time and interest thank you.
Why dont you write something on Buru story of Ziro valley

NPR said...

He he he seems we were having some kind of telepathy.My next post will be on the same topic..i m busy collecting some folkstory on that.Keep checking.