Hill Miri people

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Portrait of a girl of the Hill Miri people.

The Hill Miri (Nyishis) are a people of Arunachal Pradesh, India.[1] They are mainly settled in and around Daporijo, Upper Subansiri District and Raga and Dollungmukh areas of Lower Subansiri District. The Hill Miri (Nyishi) have a tiny population, estimated at 9,000,[2] because of which they were officially consolidated with their more populous and closest ethnic neighbors, the Nyishi in 1998. They speak the Hill-Miri language, or Sarak-miri, a Tibeto-Burman language of India.Hill-Miris share common descendant/lineage with Nyishis, i.e., Dopum, Dodum, Dol/Dolu. There are five major descendants of Nyishi Clan viz,Chikom(akom),Pate(ade,Pade),Pei, Peri,Teli-Todum and Ter-Tap clans.[2]

The main festivals are Nyokum yullo and Boori-Boot yullo, celebrated on 26th and 6 February respectively. The rituals are carried out by the community priests (Nyub/Nyubu) which includes chanting of hymns and sacrificing animals like mithun (Sobe/sebe), goats, chickens,pig etc., and also serving of local beer (Opo) among the people.

The traditional attire of male include Lenin cloth wrapped over the body covering the upper portion of the body up to the knees, headgear includes a cap(bopar/bopa/bopia) made of cane ropes which has a strap of bear skin attached anteriorly(sometimes fitted with hornbill beak at the top).The male carry a long sword (orok/oriok) and a small knife (rwchik/rwuchuk) under a bamboo cover fastened to a rope which he prefers to carry along with him. The female dress includes blouse and a long cloth (gale) wrapped around the waist with beautiful piece of hand-made art knitted on it. The Hill Miri(Nyishi) are agriculturist and they primarily grow crops like rice, millet,and vevetables. The mode of cultivation preferably practiced is Jhum Cultivation. They grow millets especially to prepare local wine (Opo), also made from the local rice, which is very much loved by the people. The wine is served in plenty during special occasions like festival, marriage, parties etc.


  1. ^ Pandey, B. B. (1974). The Hill Miri. Director of Information and Public Relations, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh. p. 1. OCLC 4591820. 
  2. ^ a b Moseley, Christopher (2007). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Routledge. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7007-1197-0. Retrieved 1 April 2012.