This Harvest Festival Is Celebrated By Warrior Tribes Of Arunachal Pradesh

During the festival, villagers exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as a mark of greeting and goodwill

The Oriah festival of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated by the Wanchos — a warrior tribe in the easternmost tip of the state. The 6-12 day long agricultural festival invokes deities and making animal sacrifices for peace and prosperity among neighbouring tribes. Villagers exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as a mark of greeting and goodwill.

Both men and women wear traditional attire and sing and dance around a ‘Jangban’, which is a long ceremonial pole planted during the festival. The traditional attire of Wancho comprises of a piece of cloth (Khehit) for men and a skirt (Nyisa or Kheto) for women. The male folk wear headgear (Khohom), necklace (Liknu-Likcham), earring (nathuak), waist belt (Zapak) etc. Whereas, women wear fillet (Lik-Kha-dau), earring (natu), bangle (Khapsan), necklace (lik), shell (Thuak) and feather (O-Koi) during the festivals.

Wancho tribes inhabit the hilly terrains of Longding District, the easternmost tip of Arunachal Pradesh.  Known for their structured village society, they have a chieftainship system and mostly follow the joint family system. The village council headed by the chief, NgopaWangsham and elders are the main decision-making body in the village. A small minority of them still retain the belief of Animism, which is a belief that all things have a distinct spiritual essence.