Lapang and babo are the hallmark of the Apatanis. That made the Myoko festival very special. It is during the Myoko anyangs, which comes every three years, that the babos and lapangs are renewed.
In the days gone by, the lapangs were made out of huge trees. The remains of fallen trees on the ground made best lapangs. Bigger the tree, bigger could the lapangs be made. And prouder were the people of that clan.
Lapang is significant in many ways. One is the tuli - the posts. Each tuli represented a male child. If I have two male children, I would contribute at least three tulis - two for my children and one for myself. It was indeed a brilliant idea to involve everybody in the community works.
In the face of changing village scenario these days, there is one lapang which still retains its original form. The Hibu Lapang in Hong village. Other lapangs today have conrete supporting structures, sawn timber replacing the manually sculptured lapang, or overhead roof to protect the lapang from rain and sun. All these changes have been necessitated by dwindling manpower and decreasing values attached to the traditional institutions.
In this context, therefore, retaining a lapang in its original form speaks a lot. That is why the Hibu Lapang has been declared a Heritage Lapang.
What is still not clear, however, is what exactly a "Heritage Lapang" would mean. Just declaring a structure as having heritage value has little meaning. The Hibu clan who constructs and maintains the lapang need support. The lapangs needs to be promoted and given significance.
Any confusion does not make the significance of Hibu Lapang any less. If you were wondering how an original lapang looks like, visit Hong village.