Friday, April 25, 2008

Myoko side events : agyang paniin

Being present this year at Ziro for Myoko festival (and thanks to the warm hospitality which was provided to me everywhere) I had the opportunity to attend some of the many rituals taking place during this almost one month celebration. One of them is AGYAN PANIIN, normally performed on the 7th day after the opening ceremony (sama piniin). Although the significance of this ritual still remains largely unknown to me, at least I could take a few snaps showing the way the altar -called pamun agyan- is erected.

In every household of one given clan (halu), male members first collect straight branches of a particular chestnut tree called kiira (Castanopsis sp.) from their respective bamboo groves (bije) or community forest, and hoist them in one row on an appropriate bamboo structure.

The site where the altar is being erected. In the particular event which I observed it was located just besides the clan platform (lapan), and was overshadowed by a blackberry bush, i.e. the silkworm tree (Morus alba).

Kiira branches collected by male members of the clan are first gathered on the spot.
One branch is brought for each male member of the household.

A tamin tree (Mahonia nepalensis) was also replanted on the site as part of the ceremony.

Building the bamboo structure

Tiying the 3 bamboo poles firmly into the ground by means of wooden mallets

Completing the main structure by attaching 3 horizontal bamboo poles (arpii)

Inserting kiira branches after having partially removed the bark

Consolidating the structure with bamboo sticks displayed in X shape

Fixing a small basket-shaped bamboo item at the back of the altar which will play a prominent role later during the ritual. Liikhan could be the name of this item, although I am not quite sure of this.

pamun agyan ready for celebration


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