Dormitories play an important role among the Adi tribe, and certain rules are observed. For example, a male can visit the dormitory of a female, although he is not allowed to stay overnight. At times, guardians will have to be around to guide the youngsters.
The dress of the Adi consists of one multi-purpose cloth, known as the gaale'', easily worn by both sexes, tied around the loins, hanging down in loose strips. Helmets made from cane, bear and deer skin are sometimes worn by the men, depending on the region.
While the older women wear yellow necklaces and spiral earrings, unmarried girls wear a beyop, an ornament that consists of five to six brass plates fixed under their petticoats. Tattooing was popular among the older women.
The traditional measure of a family's wealth is the possession of gaur (known as "Eso" and often referred as "Mithun"), a native ox which is not milked or put to work but given supplementary care while grazing in the woods until slaughter.
Adi celebrate their prime festival, Solung, between in the first week of September every year for five days. It is a harvest festival performed after the sowing of seeds and transplantation, to seek for future bumper crops. Ponung songs and dances are performed during the festival. At the last day of Solung, throne and indigenous weaponry are displayed along the passage of the houses, a belief that they would protect people from evil spirits.
|Name of festival||Dates|
|Solung Etor||May 15|
are practiced to supplement the diet; the favorite prey is the abundant rat, prepared in various ways, including raw pieces in a cake.
The Adis practice jhum cultivation (slash and burn) practice. Permanent cultivation is mostly followed in the plain regions. Staple food of the Adis are rice, millet and maize including yam, which cooked in earthen pot (Now the method of pottery making is only history) which has been with the Tani people since time immemorial. It is orally told through Miri (Priest) that in older time Abotani (Abo- Father, Tani- Human) has wondered in forest for want of food. Once he went to Takar-Taji's place (Tatar-Taji) marriage ceremony where Mithun (Gaur) was sacrificed. Due to ABOTANIS' trick Takar-Taji could sacrifice only one Mithun, which was meagre for distribution to the guest. Abotani's Dog (Kiipu) and the Deer (Duumpoo) shared a packet of rotten soya seeds (staple food in olden days) as the use of rice millet and maize was unknown in those days. This led to quarrel between Kiipu and Duumpoo. Duumpoo the deer kicked the Soya seed packet and ran away, which angered Kiipu the Dog and chased the deer. Abotani had to follow both them. After many days Duumpu the deer landed in the world of Digo Ane (Digo- land, Ane- shawn) (Keeper of land) and scattered the rice powder set on sun for drying. Duumpoo the deer was caught; Kiipu the dog followed and was caught; Abotani followed them and was also caught by the peoples of Digo Ane. They were imprisoned. After many days Abotani had a trick played by putting a dead mole rat in his armpit and acted as if dying. This worried the Digo Ane people lest the act may anger Takar-Taji people and they freed ABOTANI with gift of rice seed, millet seed and maize seed. From this day onward MOPIN festival is celebrated to appease the Digo Ane deity for prosperous harvest. MOPIN is a major festival of the Galong group. Similarly many harvests festivals are celebrated too by different subgroups of the Adis; viz they majorly being Solung, Solung Etor, Yakjong and Aran.
In modern times many of the Adi have moved away from Donyi-Polo. A growing number of Adi, especially among the youth, have converted to Christianity. Adis in Tibet, in particular the Bokars, have adopted Tibetan Buddhism to a certain extent, as a result of Tibetan influence. But in recent few years there was a revival in the faith and the search for indigenousity on the part of the people made it popular with the youth again. Followers of Donyi Polo faith can also be found in parts of upper Assam among the Mishing tribe; according to available knowledge of history and folklores the Mishings were the Adis who migrated to Assam.
Efforts are now underway to give a properly organized form to the traditional beliefs and values of the Arunachal Pradesh state, and to protect and preserve the local religions. In olden days the practice of Donyi-Polo religion were limited to priest. The Adi people have started organizing systematic practice of Donyi-Polo religion now known as Donyi Polo Lotta, Dere, Gamgi to protect the fast vanishing traditions and culture among the Adi as well as the Tani group of tibes..
Fine Young Cannibals; When Explorer BRUCE PARRY Joined the Remotest Tribes of the World for a Fascinating New TV Series, He Realised That Happiness Is Found in the Simple Life
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