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People


Akas

▪  Introduction ▪  House ▪  Weapons ▪  Ornaments ▪  Ways of Punishment ▪  Slave System
▪  Tattooing ▪  Magic ▪  Marriage ▪  Marriage Ceremony ▪  Marriage by Capture  
 

The Akas are inhabitants of the south-eastern part of Kameng district of the state. Their main concentration is noticed in the Thrizine area. The name 'Aka' is given to them by the plains people and they call themselves 'Hrusso'. The word 'Aka' denotes 'painted' and their customs of painting the faces profusely, served as a distinctive mark. 

The Akas have fair complexions, a well-built body, usually a flat nose conspicuous cheek-bones with black hair and brownish to pale blue eyes. Men  grow scanty hair on the face as well as over the body. Their stature varies from medium to tall.

The language of the Akas is quite different from their neighbouring tribes. The Aka language belongs to the Tibeto Burman group of languages. Akas are one of the main jhum cultivators among the tribes of India.

The House 

The Aka
house is a long structure raised on a platform, about six feet above the ground and divided into two compartments by a partition wall. The space between the platform and ground serves as a shed for pigs and goats of the house hold. The  house is a work of bamboo and wood, bamboo sheets forming the floor, the wall and the roof and wooden logs serving as the main pillars over which the structure of the house is raised. The roof is usually thatched and often supported by bamboo sheets. The four walls of the house are usually high.

Weapons 

Akas have various weapons which are of practical use to them in war and peace as well as in their day-to day tasks. Generally they use weapons for defensive purposes. They protect themselves against wild animals and also practice hunting. The most important weapon of this kind is the bow and arrow, known by the name of Tkeri and Moo respectively and used in the chase. The bows are usually hung over the shoulders while the arrows are carried in a case of bamboo called 'thauvaou'

Another weapon is a kind of crude harpoon, one end of which is barbed with sharp iron nails. It was the popular weapon in the days of tribal feuds. The most common weapon is the Dao. It is used for cutting wood and bamboo pieces, clearing shrubs, in making baskets as well as killing large mithun and pigs for sacrifice or feast. It is made from steel. Dao, for which the local term is wetz  are like bow and arrow  of various sizes. The biggest type of wetz is known as wetzpa, the medium size by welfa and the smallest one is called wetza.

Ornaments

The Aka women wear a number of silver ornaments as well as necklaces of beads. The common silver ornaments are melu-a flat shaped ornament  worn over the chest, rombin- the ear bulbs, gichlu-the earrings and gejjul-the wristlets. Well to do women wear a fillet of silver chain-work called lenchhi. An ancestral necklace, called aescheri is worn invariably by women and often by men. It forms a necessary part of gift which a brides parents give at her marriage.

Tattooing

Women tattoo their faces in a pattern of a straight line running from below the fore head to the chin where it bifurcates into two directions. No other part of the body are tattooed. The most common form of aka art is their drawings on wood in their house.

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Last Updated on : 4 June 2014