India | Arunachal Pradesh

Adi Tribe

The Adis inhabit the great Himalayan range between the Dihing and Subansiri rivers in the Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh. They are believed to be the descendants of the Tartar race. The Adis have two main divisions, the Bogum and Bomis, and under each there are a number of sub-tribes. The Minyongs, Karkos, Shimongs, Bomdo, Janbos, Paggis, Pailibos, Bogum, Padams, Milangs and so on form one group ; while the Gallong and seven other groups constitute another group of Adis.

The Adis are democratic by nature and their village council is called Kebang. Ponung, their traditional dance, is famous all over Arunachal Pradesh. Adi villages are situated generally on the spurs of hills. They practice the slash-and-burn method of agriculture. The main tools/equipment used for farming are dao (short sword) and long pointed bamboo. Rice and maize comprise the staple food of this tribe. They consume flesh of most of the animals and fowls.

Adi men wear three kinds of head coverings - made of plain cane, bearís skin and a thick yellow skin of a species of deer. The women have tattoo marks about the mouth, in the hollow of the upper lip, immediately under the nose. They wear yellow necklaces and iron or copper bracelets. The unmarried girls wear girdles called 'beyops,' five or six flat circular plates of brass, fixed to a plaited band of thin cane, under their petticoats. Both the men and women crop their hair, leaving a cap of hair on the crown. Adis practice polygyny. Adi women are very good weavers and weave cloth with highly artistic designs.

Updated on 28th May, 2014


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