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People


Apatani


Apatani

The physical features of the Aptanis may be described as stout and well built of short to medium height people. They possess the characteristics of the Mongoloid people. There are two groups among Apatanis and they are found to differ significantly in appearance.


Traditionally there are seven large villages of Apatanis. The settlement and dwelling system of the Apatanis are always of permanent nature. The houses are constructed during the month of August to December with the help of clan members. The construction of the house is begun after preparation of the rice beer, meat and rice. Then the building materials are procured. Usually wood is used. The height of a house rises about twelve feet from the floor and two feet from the ground. Houses are closely situated and often their roofs touch  each other. The floor and walls are made of beaten bamboo tied with split cane. At the time of construction of the house, the house owner offers delicious meat, rice and rice beer to the people who help and the construction of the house is completed with in two days. After finishing the construction of the house, two minor rites are performed  by offering a chicken and hen. These rites are performed to appease the god of house so that the house should last long and the inmates should live in prosperity with the blessing of gods. 

Slave System

Slavery system has been in existence in the Apatni society but the Apatani have been very much generous towards their slaves. The extravagant  rich man purchases a number of slaves from neighbouring tribes as well as own tribe for his security. He prefers to purchase them from his own tribe so that they can't run away from him. Their masters provided them with some distant agriculture plots as well as a house and granary sites and even borne the cost of marriage ceremony, if they are faithful. But if their slaves were unfaithful or notorious-they would sell them to other patrician master. The child slaves were attached to their master's house till they attained their maturity. Such faithful child-slaves were nurtured like own children.

The Position of Men and Women

The society considers that man folk is higher in status than woman folk. But practically, equal responsibility of duties is shared by both in the field, home and the family affairs. Apatani woman carries out the duties of gathering of both wild and kitchen garden vegetables, cooking, fetching of water, pounding of rice, cleaning of houses, washing of clothes and utensils, nursing and looking after infants and children, preparation of rice beer, ginning and spinning of cotton and other jobs associated with the house hold. In the field, the Apatani woman carries out the tasks like gardening, seedling, transplanting of paddy and millet, padding, weeding of fields and or the activities. In a home managed family incomes internally controlled by a woman.

 

 
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Last Updated on : 4 June 2014