Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ziro Putu and Apatani Settlement Story

Ziro Putu today occupies the center of the Ziro valley. This is sometimes called the Army Putu as it became the cantonment area of the Indian Army in the sixties. It is said that the whole troop was killed in the war for liberation of present Bangladesh in 1972. For a long time after the soldiers left, it remained an empty hill covered with gentle green grass and fetching ferns. Some government establishments are being set up these days on the hillock.

Ziro Putu was once the village of the Ziro clan of the Apatanis. The first batch of the Apatanis to have settled down in the present habitat were the clans of Ziro, Tabyu and Dusu. Ziro people established their village in the north-west of the valley at Ziro Putu. Likewise, Tabyu clan settled down in the north-east at Tabyu Putu and Dusu clan in the southern end of the valley at Hula Putu.
The next batch of the Apatanis to have come to the valley were the people of Hong, Hari, Kalung, Reru, Tajang and Hija. They initially settled down at Bwrw but dispersed to different directions at their present habitats. The last batch to have reached the valley were the people of Dutta, Mudang-Tage and Michi-Bamin.

It is one of the ironies of history that the first settlers – Ziro, Tabyu and Dusu, who remained most influential and powerful for a long time – are today being reduced to minorities. Ziro clan left the valley and their whereabouts is uncertain at present. Almost all the people of Dusu clan were killed in a conspiracy by the rest of the Apatanis, but the descendants of a few who escaped to other villages survive today. Tabyu clan is survived by few families and we hope that the numbers will increase in the coming days. These are the materials for more stories, though.

In the meantime, welcome to visit the Hula Putu by the Hong village, the Tabyu Putu in Tajang village and the iconic Ziro Putu to relive the history of Apatani settlement in the Ziro valley.


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  2. The name of Ziro was asked so to many people but no answered how our place named as Ziro. Here you mentioned the first settler in the area were Ziro clan. If this so, can you give some more light how the name ZIRO was given to our place. It is officially known but no records and even no one knows how Ziro name came to our place. the existence of Ziro was also doubt. please give more information and with proof if possible

  3. @dulley tamang,
    Thank you for visiting and asking the question. As explained, Ziro was one of the three clans who are said to have settled down at Ziro valley. Ziro clan settled down at Ziro putu. When the administrative center was shifted to Ziro from Kimin, Ziro putu was selected as the base. That is how the name of the headquarter was named Ziro.
    As you must be aware, the Apatanis never had any written script. So, it is natural that you will find no written record of the Ziro clan. The only proof we have is the oral literature that has been passed down from generation to generation.