Miji people

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The Miji, also known by the names of Sajolang and Damai, inhabit the districts of West Kameng and East Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Their population of 5,000 are found near the lower parts of the sub-Himalayan hills bordering Assam; they speak the Sajalong language.

Combining Tibetan and Assamese[1] ancestry, most Miji possess a reddish-red and fair complexion. Isolated from the rest of the world, they sustain their livehood through Swidden agriculture.

The traditional costume of Miji women consists of an ankle-length white garment with a beautifully decorated red jacket. Like the Akas, the Miji wear silver ornaments and glass-based necklaces.[2] Indigenous cosmetics are made from pine resin.

Most Miji are adherents of Animism, although a few have adopted Christianity. Like the Akas, the Mijis share religious affinities with the Donyi Polo faith and thus are considered adherents of Donyi Polo, although other gods are given higher veneration than Abotani.[3] There is some Buddhist influence as a result of long standing cultural contacts with Buddhist tribes to the west, and the celebration of Losar as well as the usage of prayer flags are some indicators of this.[4]

Khan is the most celebrated festival of the Mijis. It is an occasion for reunion among the local community. The significance of the festival lies in a ceremony whereby the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody's neck. The belief is that the enchanted thread will bring good luck to each one of them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sudhanshu Bikash Saha (1997). Tribes of North East India: Spectrum of Changes. Rupali Publishing. p. 35. 
  2. ^ Oppi Untracht (1997). Traditional Jewelry of India. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 139. ISBN 0-8109-3886-3. 
  3. ^ Dalvindar Singh Grewal (1997). Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh: Identity, Culture, and Languages. South Asia Publications. p. 53. ISBN 81-7433-019-4. 
  4. ^ Tanka Bahadur Subba, G. C. Ghosh (2003). The Anthropology of North-East India: A Textbook. Orient Longman. p. 289. ISBN 81-250-2335-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • DHAR Bibhash - Planning for tribal development : A study of Miji—Extr. de : Sequences in development in North East India (a study of tradition, continuity and change) / J.B. Bhattacharjee (Ed.), New Delhi : Omsons Publ., 1989, p. 120-123.
  • FutureGenerations, India, Arunachal Pradesh, In Depth

External links[edit]