Friday, February 6, 2009

NYOKUM YULLO 2009: Essence of Ethnicity

Dates : 24, 25 & 26th February
Venue : Itanagar

Nyishi Girl in traditional headgear and beads
Nyokum Yullo 2009 will bring to light the terrific world of an innocuous tribe called Nyishi (a major tribe of Arunachal Pradesh) dwelling on the incredible valleys of East Kameng, Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, Papum Pare and some plain clusters of Lakhimpur and Sonitpur District of Assam. Inclusively, they are the largest ethnic bevies of Arunachal Pradesh. They belong to the Tibeto-Mongoloid stock. The simplicity and humbleness of the tribe append grace to the mesmerizing meadows of their inhabitations that are sanctified with abundant natural elegance and magnificence.

The Nyokum Yullo ’09 will divulge the complex cultures and treasured traditions of Nyishis’ worldwide. Amazingly, th persistent endeavor to conserve the mesmerizing culture, cuisines, ornaments, dresses, dances and folklores of the colorful Nyishi Tribe is yielding gradual fruition and Nyokum’09 is the result of those assiduous efforts of believing in the fact that
culture and tradition is worth the hardship and handworks. It is the joyous moments of commemorating the by gone eras of the Nyishi Tribe. Nyokum’09 is like a fresh breeze of fragrant airs that reminds the lively community of their ancient roots and offers the moments to be proud of who they are. It symbolizes the dawning of a new era, an era of reliving the moments that their ancestors were so proud of.

View of Itanagar at night
The contemporary influences, the modern mindsets and the busy schedules of modern life coerces to ignore or forget about the cultural heritages but the magic of Nyokum is so powerful that it binds the Nyishi fraternity together to revel the moments of pride and pleasures as well highlight the ancient heritages they are so proud of. The throngs of beautiful damsels in glistening Kochik (women traditional wear), the ferocious faces with soften hearts wearing colorful Pari/Pomo aaje ( men's traditonal wear), customary Bopia(traditonal head gear) and traditional swords dangling on the waist will hypnotize the awestruck visitors.

View of Itanagar
Nyokum being a pre-harvest sowing festival is celebrated for harvest prosperity, communal harmony, community integrations and global peace as well it also marks the advent of the Nyishi New Year. The three delectation days of the ethnic carnival offers a glance of the Nyishi Communities, divulging their ancient cultures, rituals, dances, etc. The chanting of Mantras, the mesmerizing ‘Buya’ and ‘Rikham Pada’ dances, the amusing ‘Dir-Son-BO’, the hammering by Pipa-Nekho, the preparation of Yugii (altar), the ceremonial procession Khome or Tori and the traditional animal sacrifices are the moments that will remain forever in the memories of the bedazzled onlookers. The exchange of Chimpu (packed lunch) and the trances of Opo (rice beer) served in Didu are simply superlative, likewise the Nyishi tribe is simply incredible and famous for their simplicity and gracious hospitalities.

Apart from the frenzy of the mindboggling ancient rituals, in the three fascinating days along
Toy Train at Nyokum Yullo Ground
with the pristine precinct, dramatic mountains and serpentine roads, the visitors can enjoy personal moments, boating in the quite environment of the Gekar Sinyi/Sinyik(lake)that offers quite moments, away from the maddening crowds. Re-visit history by meandering on the ruins of historic Itafort built in 1360 AD, amble on the by lanes of the zoological park enjoying
the sight of Bengal felines, impassive crocks, greedy vultures, mischievous monkeys, beautiful birds, wonderful peacocks, etc., tread across the Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary that nestle some of the rare wildlife species along with varieties of birds and orchids and to comprehend the tribes and culture of the entire state take a tour of Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum and when exhausted of ambling, boating and driving, conclude the eventful day by riding upon the Toy Train watching the radiant sun fading gradually.

Words cannot illustrate the beauty of the place and reflect the emotion of being a part of the Nyokum’09. Be a part of it to comprehend the charisma of the festival and to believe the beauty of the region. Explore the beautiful thing god has created and experience the powerful magic of Nyokum Yullo 2009.

For further details contact : Chukhu Mama – +919856839238 email-

Text by Tom Simai & Photos by Arif Siddiqui


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