‘Good Ghosts’ visit them

Galos’ Stirring Story

‘Good Spirits’ visit them

People of the Galo Tribe – residing in the West Siang District of Arunachal, staunchly believe that the ‘good spirits’ protect their grain reservoirs. They store grains in rectangular shaped huts standing a few feet above the ground in their compound. Below the huts, firewood is stored. And it’s believed that only the lady of the house should fetch grains from the store.

A typical Galo hut in Arunachal
A typical Galo hut in Arunachal

Amicable with nature

Galos’ everyday rigorous pursuits stop at harnessing natural resources for limited personal use, and they respect their surroundings. The belief in a divine power protecting them is so strong in Galo and most of the other tribes in Arunachal that they consciously maintain good relations with natural environment and protect the flora and fauna around them. Sun and moon are primary deities along with some evil deities too taking their place in Galos’ religious beliefs.

Abundant species of plants and animals found in the state are testimony to this profound man-nature relationship.

Mithun - the bovine is an integral part of Galo's life
Mithun – the bovine is an integral part of Galo’s life

Mithun (bovine) is a delicacy

There is an old-world charm in the customs and festivities of these people. Smearing each other’s face with rice powder is a main ritual of the Mopin harvest festival celebrated in April.

In their famed and aesthetic Popir dance young girls wear pristine white attires and colourful headgears, and swing to the tunes of folk music. Mithun which is considered auspicious, is sacrificed for a delicacy called amin – the main dish in the king-size feast and usually people gulp it down with the sharp Apong or rice wine.

Bovine Mithun enjoys a very special status in their customs and social life. Owning it is a symbol of prosperity and prestige. It’s given as gift on special occasions such as marriages.

A Galo Tribe girl wearing traditional attire at Mopin festival
A Galo Tribe girl wearing traditional attire at Mopin festival

photo courtesies:

hut: facebook.com/Adivasi-Arts-Trust

Mithun: nikitahazarika.blogspot.in

Galo girl: flickr.com/photos/krish9

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