Apatani people

The Apatani, or (Tanw, Tanii) are a tribal group of people living in the Ziro valley in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh in India.[1] This tribe speaks the languages Apatani, English and Hindi.

Their wet rice cultivation system and their agriculture system are extensive even without the use of any farm animals or machines. So is their sustainable social forestry system. UNESCO has proposed the Apatani valley for inclusion as a World Heritage Site for its "extremely high productivity" and "unique" way of preserving the ecology.[2] They have two major festivals – Dree and Myoko. In July, the agricultural festival of Dree is celebrated with prayers for a bumper harvest and prosperity of all humankind. Paku-Itu, Daminda, Piree dance, etc., are the main cultural programmes performed in the festival.[3] Myoko is a festival to celebrate friendship similar to modern friendship day but unlike the latter which lasts only for a day, it is celebrated for almost a month-long, from the end of March to the end of April. Apatanis trace their descent patrilineally.

The Apatanis, one of the major ethnic groups of eastern Himalayas, have a distinct civilization with systematic land-use practices and rich traditional ecological knowledge of natural resources management and conservation, acquired over the centuries through informal experimentation. The tribe is known for their colorful culture with various festivals, intricate handloom designs, skills in cane and bamboo crafts, and vibrant traditional village councils called bulyañ. This has made the Ziro Valley a good example of a living cultural landscape where humans and the environment have harmoniously existed together in a state of interdependence even through changing times, such co-existence being nurtured by the traditional customs and spiritual belief systems.[4]