population of Arunachal is predominantly tribal in character and there
are about 20 - 26 major tribes which are divided into a number of sub
tribes. The principal tribes are Adis, Nishi, Apatani, Tagin, Mismi, Khampti,
Noite, Wancho, Tangsha, Singpho, Monpa, Sherdukpen and Aka. These tribes
speak their own tongues. The major social and cultural events of the state
are very much associated with the tribal life.
The Adis are the major group of tribes inhabiting the
West Siang district. The different sub tribes groups of the Adis are Gallong,
Janbe, Karka, Memba, Ashing, Bori, Bogum, Bagi, Pailibo, Minyong etc.
Monship and Rashbeng, dormitories for boys and girls respectively, play
an important role in the Adi society.
Different sections of the Adis call
these institutions by different names such as the Padams, Dere etc. It
is customary for boys and girls to become the members of their respective
institutions when they attain the age of ten. They remain in their respective
dormitories till their marriage. There is no restriction for the boys
of different Monship to visit girls in their Rashbengs. In course of such
visits if a boy and girl happen to like each other, negotiations are carried
out between the boys and the girls parents. If approved by their parents
formal marriage take place according to their custom.
The bride after marriage usually continues to live
with her parents till the birth of her first child. It is expected that
boy in the mean time, would be able to construct a house of his own.
In the Adi society descent is traced through the father
and the property devolves on the male line and the children belong to
the fathers clan. If a child born in an extra martial relation is a boy,
he belongs to the father's clan and if it is a girl, she belongs to
mother's clan. The elder son generally set
up their separate house-holds even while the father is alive though on
principle. They have equal shares on the parents property. They do not
dispute with the youngest brother who stays with the parents and inherits
the ancestral house by common consent. The widowed mother is considered
a special responsibility of the eldest son, but in practice, she prefers
to live with the youngest under the roof of her deceased husband's home.
Kebang - All important decisions of political and social
matters as well as the disputes among the members of the community are
tried and settled by the Kebang. The various kebangs are Bane Kebang,
Bango Kebang, Bogum Bokang Kebang and Atek Kebang. In Bane Kebang
all the male members of the village can take part and express their
opinion freely. Bango kebang consists of the head Gams of the number
of villages and it has one secretary and also some funds to manage. It
mainly deals with inter village disputes and development problems. Atek
Kebang is for the settlement of particular cases of disputes. The Bogum
Bokang Kebang is a federal organisation-its jurisdiction extends
to the whole district of Siang. The social customs and relations of inter
village, inter-bango disputes, political and economic changes affecting
their life etc are discussed in this Kebang. The Bogum Bokong adopt
resolutions and recommends measures to the government for meeting
The main festivals celebrated by the Adis are Mopin