Arunachal Pradesh

North-East Indian Culture and Artifacts

North-East Indian Culture and Artifacts

The Indian Culture of northeastern states is characterized by the diverse ethnic groups settled in the region. Each tribe has its distinct custom, cuisine, attire, and dialect. One of these tribes is the Konyak, the last remaining headhunter clans of the region.

1. Artifacts

artifacts

For the first time, the age of artifacts from the Neolithic era recovered from two important sites in Northeast India has been unraveled. Indian scientists have found the age using the latest technique of optically stimulated luminescence dating.

“It is now confirmed that the corded pottery and polished stone tools which were recovered during excavations in Daojali Hading in Dima Haso district of Assam in 1961 are 2,700 years old and those recovered from Gawak Abri in Garo Hills of Meghalaya in 1999 are 2,300 years old

2. Festival

festival

Northeast has been hosting several fairs and festivals for decades. Some traditional festivals that are hosted annually are BihuFestival, Nongkrem Dance Festival, Chapchar Kut, Wangala Festival, Kang China, etc. Bihu is an important festival in Assam. BohagBihu is the most popular one celebrated in Assam. Different parts of the region celebrate this festival with much zeal and enthusiasm. The Nongkrem dance festival is a way of celebrating the harvest of the Khasi tribe of the region. Chapchar puja is a festival celebrated in Mizoram in March. There are several music festivals such as NH 7 weekender, Ziro festival, etc are hosted every year. The Northeast book fair is held every year in Assam. Film festivals are also an important part of Northeast’s fairs and festivals. The state of Sikkim hosts an international flower show every year.

3. Art and Craft

Handicraft

The tradition of art and craft culture is quite rich in the region with every state having its unique craftsmanship qualities. Arunachal and Mizoram’s craftsmanship abilities are evident from astonishing carpet making, cane crafts, masks, painted wood vessels, bamboo and, weaving, woodcarvings, hand-made pottery, brass cutting, silver works, etc. Assam is dominant in agriculture coupled with handloom weaving, cane and bamboo works, etc. Besides other woodwork, Meghalaya’s specialties include crafting musical instruments. For the rest of the states, weaving and wooden works are a specialty including jewelry and ornaments crafting, hunting, etc.

4. Wildlife

RED PANDA

Northeast is home to numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries blessed with exotic species of flora and fauna. Arunachal Pradesh is home to the third national park in India – Namdapha National Park popular for its endemic Namdapha flying squirrel. The one-horned rhino in Kaziranga, Assam is another exotic and endangered wildlife animal. Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur is the world’s only floating national park with the only natural habitat of the dancing deer, Sangai. Sirohi National Park in Manipur is home to the beautiful terrestrial lily, the Shirui lily found nowhere else in the world. Manas National Park in Assam is a project tiger and elephant reserve added to the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. The entire northeast region is home to around 22 national parks and wildlife reserves.

5. Language

languages

In the Indian culture subcontinent, the Northeast constitutes about 220 languages. Assamese is an Indo-Aryan language that is spoken mostly in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam and is the mother tongue of many communities. Other languages such as Nagamese and Nefamese are Assamese-based pidgin spoken in Nagaland and Arunachal respectively. Khasi, Jaintia, and War are the language of the Austro-Asiatic family. Some Tai–Kadai languages include Ahom, Tai Phake, Khamti, etc. Other languages that have origins in the Sino-Tibetan region are Bodo, Deori, Missing, Rabha, Karbi, Tiwa, Bite Garo, Hajong, Angami, Lotha, Mizo, Chakma Tanee, Nisi, Adi, Abor, Apatani, Misumi, etc. Bengali is also widely spoken in lower Assam and Tripura as the majority constitutes illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Nepali is widely spoken in Sikkim.

6. People

dressess

Most of the ethnic groups of the hilly regions have their origins in Myanmar, China, and Thailand which were also the earliest settlers. The plain area consisted of people from the Ahom kingdom. According to the 2001 Census, a total of 38 million people have been recorded. Around 160 Scheduled Tribes have been listed in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

7. Dance

bihu dance

In the Northeast, the Seven Sisters states have prolific cultures and traditional dances. The northeast itself probably has the highest range of variety in its folk dances that reflect the tribal and traditional culture of the region. like,  Bardo Chham, Ponung, Wancho Dance, Bihu, Bagurumba, Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Dhol Cholom, Cheraw Dance,  etc

8. Food

nefood

Northeast Indian food—the cuisines of the frontier states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. So I’ll start with the very items that, for most of us, define Indian food: oil and masala. Northeastern food will have none of it. Bland, but also hot; pungent, but also aromatic; healthy, but also fatty—these antithetical adjectives can all be used to describe a meal from the Northeast, which is incomplete without a steaming platter of rice and various green vegetables. Poultry (duck, geese, chicken), beef, pork, and freshwater fish provide the protein, but the most defining aspect of northeastern cuisine is the minimal use of spice. A chilli or two (enough to spark the fire), ginger, garlic, occasionally sesame and a few local herbs are all it takes to get that distinctive flavour

east india

East India Culture and Artifacts

East India Culture and Artifacts

All tribes in East India have their own folk dances associated with their religion and festivals. The tribal heritage in the region is rich with the practice of hunting, land cultivation and indigenous crafts. The rich culture is vibrant and visible with the traditional attires of each community.

1. Art and Crafts

The East Indian Crafts speak of dexterity and sense of artistry of the locals. The East Indian states of India comprise of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Toy making is a craft in the region. In Toupadana of Jharkhand state, wooden toys are made which are completely abstract. The toys are always in pairs, which are stunning and very original as they are different from other dolls. In Krishnagar of West Bengal state, ‘traditional dolls’ are made from clay, which have been widely acclaimed and are displayed in museums all over the world.

West Bengal is also famous for kantha embroidery and weaving cotton sarees in handlooms, which are called ‘tant sarees’. Another variety of silk sari, which is produced in West Bengal, is the Baluchari sarees. The Baluchari sarees mainly come in dark shades like red, purple and chocolate. The royalty patronized this craft in the past.

An essential part of East Indian crafts is ‘mask making’. The masks of Jharkhand are very different from those of Bihar as they are fiercer because the facial expression is overstated. In Purulia district of West Bengal, chou masks are made of papier. mache which has an earthy element in it.

2. Dance

There are many folk dances in east India, with the best-known being Jhijhiya, Jhumair, Domkach, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri and Chhau dance.

Jhijhiya is a cultural dance from the Mithila region. Jhijhiya is mostly performed at time of Dusshera, in dedication to Durga Bhairavi, the goddess of victory. While performing jhijhiya, women put lanterns made of clay on their head and they balance it while they dance.

Jhumair is a folk dance in Chota Nagpur Plateau region of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal. It is performed during harvest season and festivals accompanied by musical instrument such as Madal, Dhol, Bansuri, Nagara, Dhak and Shehnai.

Domkach is folk dance in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. It performed during marriage in the house of Bride and groom.

Chhau is a form of tribal martial dance popular in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. There are three regional variations of the dance. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand; Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal; and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.

Ghumura Dance Archaeological evidence shows cave paintings from the pre-historic period discovered by Gudahandi of Kalahandi and Yogi Matha of Nuapada district that represent the Ghumura and Damru, among other instruments.

3. Food

food

East India Culture is comprised of the states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, and Orissa. This region is home to beaches and mountains and Cherrapunji, the city with the highest rainfall in the world.

Because of the climate, Eastern India grows a lot of rice! Green vegetables and fruit are also abundant and thus are the recipes using them. People, though, are a balanced mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The geographical location of this region means its food bears the strong influence of Chinese and Mongolian cuisine. 

4. Music

music

Rabindra Sangeet, also known as Tagore Songs, are songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. They have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh. ”Sangeet” means music, “Rabindra Sangeet” means Songs of Rabindra.

Rabindra Sangeet used Indian classical music and traditional folk music as sources. Tagore wrote some 2,230 songs.

Rabindranath Tagore was a towering figure in Indian music. Writing in Bengali, he created a library of over 2,000 songs now known by Bengalis as Rabindra sangeet whose form is primarily influenced by Hindustani classical, sub-classicals, Karnatic, western, bauls, bhatiyali and different folk songs of India. Many singers in West Bengal and Bangladesh base their entire careers on the singing of Tagore musical masterpieces. The national anthem of India and national anthem of Bangladesh are Rabindra Sangeets.

West Bengal’s capital Kolkata is also the cultural capital of India.

Panchali is a form of narrative folk songs of the Indian state of West Bengal. 

5. Artifacts

artifacts

Pāla Bronze is a style of metal sculpture produced from the 9th century onward in the area of modern Bihār and West Bengal in India, extending into Bangladesh. They are sometimes referred to as Pāla bronzes, after the name of one of the reigning dynasties (Pāla and Sena, 8th–12th century AD). The principal centers of production were the great Buddhist monasteries at Nālandā (near modern Patna) and Kurkihar (near Bodh Gayā). Images were distributed throughout Southeast Asia, so that the style influenced Myanmar (Burma), Siam (modern Thailand), and Java. Its impact on the Buddhist art of Kashmir, Nepal, and Tibet also is recognized.

6. Language

language

Bengali is the dominant language of West Bengal Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maaithili, Maagahi and Urdu are the dominant languages of Bihar. Hindi, Santali, Khortha and Nagpuri are the dominant language of Jharkhand; however, some tribals speak their own tribal languages. Jharkhand has accorded second language status to Angika, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Ho, Kharia, Kurukh, Khortha, Kurmali, Magahi, Maithili,

Mundari, Nagpuri, Odia, Santali and Urdu.Odia is the dominant language of Odisha. Odia is the only major classical language in east India and sixth Indian language to be considered as a classical language in the basis of being old and not borrowed from other languages.

7. Dress

Traditional dress for women is the lugra. For men, traditional wear consists of khaki shorts and a white banian. A Koli Christian bridegroom usually wears an older Portuguese admiral’s uniform, which is preserved and lent out for such occasions. East Indian women wore a blouse and cotton lugra, with the back pleats tucked into the waist; women did not use the upper portion of the sari (covering the head and breast) until they were married. This mode of wearing the sari is known as sakacch nesaneGol nesane, a cylindrical style, is popular with young girls and women.

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