Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yapuñ Yaper

It is always a pleasure to walk the road between Hija and Dutta villages. The road is flanked by magnificent bamboo gardens. What one often miss, while enjoying the walk, is the Yapuñ Yaper – the famous stone that we have grown up hearing about.

The spot where this unique stone was originally located used to be an important landmark in the days when the present road was a footpath connecting the two villages. It got displaced when the road was widened. However, some concerned people took interest and fixed the stone over the roadside drain with concrete mix.

I tried to get the history behind the stone with not much success. Do you have any?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The advent of Myoko is announced in myriad ways. It starts with the monkey hunting expedition (bidiñ) after the harvest. Then follows preparation and fetching of babos and lapangs from the jungle. Not-so long ago, such events were major ones. Members of clans used to stay for nights together preparing the lapangs. When the selected trees were felled for babos, young men used to rush in to mark the piidiñ, so that he can tie his rope on the topmost portion of the babo while dragging it to the village. Such young men were heroes of the clan.

The babos are erected and lapangs repaired during December/January of the Myoko anyangs. The babos are decorated like a bridegroom before they are erected. Taper, rinyo, lako - all in place.

Erection of babo is still a great event that every neighborhood look forward to. Every male member of the clan has to participate. Once fully decorated, the babo is pulled up using cane ropes. The ropes are tied to the topmost portions - the piiding and the tapers. Once in place, one agile young man volunteers to climb up the babo to bring down the ropes.

It is not only the festival of Myoko, but the preparation as well that is worth enjoying and watching.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ziro on New Year Day '11

Ziro on the morning of the first day of 2011 was placid as usual. Light tints of mist across the eastern horizon. In contrast to clear sky and sunny days in the previous days, it was cloudy. "Myodi ho pembe iñdudo" - there must be snow fall in the higher reaches, was the speculation of the elderly person I talked to about the gloomy weather. Yes, the wind blowing down from the north was chilly.

There was no ice, however. In the previous days, the landscape used to be coated in white.

In spite of the rain and cold weather, Manipolyang was dotted with picnicking groups. Taring was the only picnic spot a decade back. It has taken a back seat now after a road was constructed to Manipolyang. It is better this year with an excellent road connecting the place with Hong village.

In the recent years, other picnic spots are coming up. The Old Ziro-Hiija road via Supyu has opened up many such spots along the road. So has the Hari-Hapya road in the east. It is good to see people enjoying nature in many areas. It would be better to see them respect nature and not overburden it with plastic bottles and other waste materials.