Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bamboo and the Apatanis

Last October, I literally walked down memory lane when I participated in a trekking expedition from Ziro to Palin through the old route via Siikhe and Amji. This was the connection between Ziro and all the areas in the present Kurung Kumey district before the motorable road was constructed some 20 years back via Deed. Since then, the track has almost been abandoned. More about this route later...

We were in the Bigyi Camp sitting by the fire listening to the Bigyi stream whistling by. We had just steamed some meat with bamboo shoot in the bamboo (sudu). Firewood, mostly of dry bamboo was keeping us warm. Our tent was constructed of bamboo. "Amazing!" remarked Phil. "Eating bamboo with bamboo spoon from bamboo plate cooked in bamboo!"

The Apatanis, who inhabit the Ziro valley cannot imagine life without bamboo. In fact, bamboo, along with pine and local cabbage (gian haman) is said to have beeen created along with human beings.


  1. Any idea which species of bamboo it is?

  2. The species is Phyllotachys bambusoides.

  3. sir, what about bamboo flowering of Apatani bijee. Flowered before ?

  4. tutho, the apatanis do not recall any episode of bije flowering, though literature on phyllostachys bambusoides says it has the longest known flowering interval at 130 years.