Alessandro Malaguti Arunachal Pradesh

Alessandro Malaguti Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh: the land of the rising sun

This series portrays the various tribes present in Arunachal Pradesh in India with their traditional clothes. In this border region coexist 26 main tribes and more than a hundred subtribes, probably one of the last outposts where communities live a primitive existence, leading a rural life, benefiting from everything present in nature both from the products of the earth and from the resources of the forests.

Each ethnic group follows its own social, cultural and religious practices. In some tribes there are still today elderly people who bear the signs of their traditions, such as the Apatani women, considered the most beautiful women in the valley where they lived, were subject to kidnapping by the men of the neighboring tribes so the men of their ethnicity to avoid this tattooed them on their faces and nasal plugs were put to make them less attractive. Other tribes instead have a not exactly affable past, such as headcutters, this practice ended between the 70s and 90s after it was banned.

The origins of these ethnic groups are still a mystery, it is thought that they came from the neighboring states of Bhutan, Tibet and Myanmar. During these migrations the various tribes fought for supremacy and the conquest of the best lands, causing the dispersion of the various groups throughout the region.

Many practices, such as headhunting, tattoos, sacrifices, worship of the dead and indigenous faith rites have changed or vanished since the 70s after the entry into the region of the Indian government and missionaries. The traditions of these peoples are slowly disappearing, because they have always been handed down orally and due to the lack of manuscripts. Although the roots of these tribes remain firm, social change, caused mainly by globalization, is constantly evolving and it will be increasingly difficult to pass on customs and traditions to new generations.

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