TRIBES OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH

ABOTANI:

This tribe is considered as the primal ancestors of the Tani (tribes) group of people in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh-such as Apatani, the Nyishi, the Adi, Galo, the Tagin, and the Mising people of Assam. They follow the Donyi Polo religion and they consider Abotani as the one who firstly introduced the technique of rice cultivation.


 

 

ADI: (Approx. Population 2,00,000)

Adi or Bokar Lhoba people are one of the major Tani tribes living in the Himalayan hills of Arunachal Pradesh. They are found in temperate and sub-tropical regions within the districts of East Siang, Upper Siang, West Siang, Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit. They have well organized village Councils called ‘Kebang’. The Sub tribes within Adis include Bokar-Palibo-Ramo, Bori, Karko, Komkar, Millang, Minyong, Padam, Pangi, Pasi, Shimong and Ashing.


 

 

APATANI: (Approx. Population 20,000)

The Apatani, or Tani, are a tribal group of people living in the Ziro valley in the Lower Subansiri district. However, more Apatanis live outside this valley, making the total population approximately 20,000 all over the state. Their language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family. The Apatani have had a democratic system of running the society. The village council is known as the Bulyang.


 

 

BORI:

The Bori (Adi) is an indigenous tribe living in the district of West Siang. They are found in the regions within the districts of East Siang, Upper Siang & West Siang. The Bori (Adi) tribes were amongst Adi People. The Bori Tribes are mostly found in Payum Circle.


 

 

BUGUN: (Approx. Population 2000)

The Buguns (Khowa) are one of the earliest recognized schedule tribe, inhabiting Singchung Sub-division of West Kameng District. The total population as on 2014 is approximately 2000. The notable features of Buguns are reflected in their simple life and warm hospitality.


 

 

Chugpa Tribe:

The Chugpa are one of the few smaller tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, living in the district of West Kameng around Dirang. They are also adherents of Tibetan Buddhism. They are a tribe of the Monpa.


 

 

Deori Tribe:

Deori is one of the major ethnic tribe in Assam. The Deori community has its own culture and traditions which is a hidden treasure for sociologists. The Deoris were originally priests and worshippers and depended mostly on agriculture for their livelihood.


 

 

Galo Tribe: (Approx. Population 80,597)

The Galo primarily inhabit the West Siang District, but also found in the southwestern side of East Siang, Upper Subansiri, Itanagar, Lower Dibang Valley and Changlang Districts. Other names which have been used to reference the Galo in the past include Duba, Doba, Dobah Abor, Gallong Abor, Galong, Gallong Adi, etc. Galo are normally monogamous, but polygamy is also practiced by affluent people as a sign of their prosperity and prestige.


 

 

Hill Miri Tribe: (Approx. Population 9000)

The Hill Miri (Nyishis) are mainly settled in and around Daporijo. Upper Subansiri District and Raga and Dollungmukh areas of Lower Subansiri District. The Hill Miri have a tiny population, estimated at 9000. They speak Hill Miri language, or Sarak-miri, a Tibeto-Burman language of India. There are five major descendants of Nyishi Clan viz. Chikom (akom), Pate (Ade, Pade), Pei, Peri, Teli-Todum and Ter-Tap clans.


 

 

Hruso Tribe: (Approx. Population 3000)

The Aka, also known as Hruso, are found in the Thrizino (cultural hub), Bhalukpong (commercial hub), Buragaon, Jamiri, Palizi, Khuppi area in West Kameng. Their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family.


 

 

Kaman (Miju) Mishmis: (Approx. Population 30000)

Kaman Mishmis is one of the major tribes of Anjaw and Lohit District. According to the 2001 census the population of the tribe is approximately 30,000 in both the districts. The origin of the tribe is unknown, since the tribe does not have written records and relies on stories handed over by the older generations. Kamans practice animism. Almost every body of the nature like the sun, moon, mountains and rivers are revered as gods.


 

 

Karbi Tribes: (Approx. Population 419,534)

The Karbis, mentioned as the Mikir in the Constitution Order of the Govt. of the India, are one of the major ethnic groups in North-East India and especially in the hill areas of Assam. The great artist-scholar Bishnu Prasad Rabha used to refer to them as the Columbus of Assam. They prefer to call themselves Karbi, and sometimes Arieng (literally “man” in the Karbi Language). The term Mikir is now not preferred and is considered to be derogatory. The closet meaning of mikir could said to be derived from “Mekar”.


 

 

Khamba Tribe:

The Khamba, also spelled Khemba, are a people who inhabit the Yang-Sang-Chu valley, near the Tibetan Border. Within the valley, they live in the villages Yorton, Lango, Tashigong, Nyukong and Mangkota. The Khamba are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism and use Hingna, their own scripts, based on the Tibetan script. Due to relative isolation from Tibet and occasional contacts with the Adi tribes, they are also somewhat influence by the Donyi-Polo faith in their beliefs. In every village there will be a Buddhist Lama.


 

 

Khamti Tribe:

The Khamti, or Taj Khamti as they are also known, are a sub-group of Shan people found in the Lohit District and East Siang District. As of 1990 their total population was estimated to be around 70,000, but in 2000 it was recalculated that it actually stood at 13,100 of which 4,235 live in Burma. The Khamti who inhabit the region around the Tengapani basin were descendents of migrants who came during the 18th century from the Bor-Khamti region, the mountainous valley of the Irrawaddy.

 


 

 

Khamyang Tribe: (Approx. Population 7000)

Khamyang, also known as Shyam, is a tribal group found primarily in Tinsukia, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts of Assam as well as adjacent parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Their population totals about 7,000 of which only a small minority speak the native Tai Khamyang language.


 

 

Lishipa Tribe: (Approx. Population 1000)

The Lishipa is a tribal group found in the Dirang area in the West Kameng district. They are ethnically related to both the Chugpa and Monpa, in which they are officially classified as a tribe of the Monpa. However, it is the relative affinity of their linguistic origins to the Sherdukpen, Sulung, and Bugun that rendered their distinct identity from the Monpas.


 

 

Lisu Tribe: (Approx. Population 5000)

Lisu people are also called “Yobin”, and one of the minority tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. They live mainly in Vijoynagar Circle in 11 villages. Gandhigram is the largest village. Lisus are found in Miao town and Injan village of Kharsang Circle Changlang District.


 

 

Mara (Tagin):

The Mara (also known as Mura) refers to tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, inhabit Limeking in Upper Subansiri, just south of Taksing which is inhabited by the Nga. The Mara believed that they descended from two brothers, Kangra and Mara, who came from Nyime (Tibet) and settled in the region.


 

 

Memba Tribe: (Approx. Population 4000)

The Memba tribe is centered on Tuting and Gelling, near the Siang River in the West Siang and Upper Siang District. They are a subgroup of Tibetan people, and speak the Tshangla and Khams Tibetan Language. A sizeable population can be found in the nearby Yargab-Chu valley in Mechuka, West Siang.


 

 

Miji Tribe: (Approx. Population 5000)

The Miji, also known by the names of Sajolang and Damai, inhabit districts of West Kameng and East Kameng. Their population of 5000 are found near the lower parts of the sub-Himalayan hills bordering Assam, they speak the Sajolang language.


 

 

Miju Mishmi Tribe:

The Miju Mishmi, also known as Kaman or Kammaan, are one of the three tribes of the Mishmi people of Arunachal Pradesh. Members of the Tribes are located in Anjaw and Lohit Districts. They speak languages of the Midzu branch of Tibeto-Burman.


 

 

Milang Tribe:

The Milang tribe (alternately Millang, Malaa or Holon) are a tribe of the Adi people. The Malaa are adherents of indigenous Donyi-Poloism, the practice of praying to the almighty Sun goddess and the Moon God.


 

 

Minyong Tribe:

The Minyong are a sub group of the Adi people. The Minyong are found in East Siang, Upper Siang and West Siang district. They have originated from Riga Village. Their villages are mostly found on the right and left banks of river Siang (Brahmaputra), starting from Tuting-Gelling to plains of Assam. They consider Donyi-Polo as their religion but recently there have been conversions to Christianity.


 

 

Mishmi Tribe:

The Mishmi or Deng people of Arunachal Pradesh are an ethnic group comprising mainly three tribes: Idu Mishmi, Digaro tribe, Miju Mishmi. The Mishmis occupy the northeastern tip of the central Arunachal Pradesh in Upper and Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit and Anjaw Districts.


 

 

Monpa Tribe: (Approx. Population 50,000)

The Monpa are a major tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas are found in Tawang and West Kameng Districts. The Monpas are sub-divided into six sub-groups because of the variation in their language. They are Tawang Monpa, Dirang Monpa, Lish Monpa, Bhut Monpa, Kalaktang Monpa and Panchen Monpa.


 

 

Muklom Tribe:

Muklom is a tribe of the Tangsa people residing in the Khimyang circle, in and around Changlang-township and Miao subdivision of the Changlang district.


 

 

Na Tribe: (Approx. Population 1,500)

The Na and Nga people is a small tribal group residing in the higher reaches, below the great Himalayan Ranges in Upper Subansiri district. Within the district, they are found in the villages within Taksing Circle. They speak the Na language, a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family.


 

 

Nyishi Tribe: (Approx. Population 300,000)

The Nyishi tribe is one of the principal inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh. The connotation ‘Nyi’ refers to a ‘man’ and the word ‘Shi’ denotes to ‘a being’, which collectively means a civilized human being. They are spread across five districts of Arunachal Pradesh viz. Papumpare, Lower Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, East Kameng, parts of Upper Subansiri.


 

 

Nocte Tribe: (Approx. Population 33,000)

The Nocte are found in the Patkai Hills of Tirap District. The Nocte were followers of Theravada Buddhism and Animism, although they have adopted Hinduism since the 18th century, under the influence of Shri Shankardeva.


 

 

Padam Tribe:

The Padam are one of the sub-groups of the Adi people of Arunachal Pradesh. Rich in both cultural and oral tradition, the Padams are known for fiercely guarding their Democratic Society. Padams reside in the hills and valleys of East Siang, Upper Siang and Lower Dibang Valley Districts. Famous for their community strength and feared for their war tactics.


 

 

Puroik Tribe: (Approx. Population 7,000)

The Puroik or Sulung people are a tribe of the hill-tracts of Arunachal Pradesh. They speak the Puroik language. The Sulung people are found in an estimated 53 villages in the districts of Subansiri and Upper Subansiri, Papumpare, Kurung Kumey and East Kameng along the upper reaches of the Par River.


 

 

Sherdukpen Tribe: (Approx. Population 4,200)

The Sherdukpen are an ethnic group related to both the Aka and Monpa. Their population is centered in West Kameng in the villages of Rupa, Jigaon, Thongri, Shergaon, in Bomdila, some of them have settled in Kameng Bari areas, a new settlement area under Bhalukpong circle.


 

 

Singpho Tribe: (Approx. Population 7,200)

The Singpho are a tribe who are found in the Districts of Lohit and Changlang, they live in the villages, namely Bordumsa, Miao and Namsai also.


 

 

Tagin Tribe: (Approx. Population 20,000)

The Tagin are members of the larger designation of Tani Tribes. Most Tagins are concentrated in Daporijo, Upper Subansiri and some also found in adjoining parts of West Siang. Tagin are generally adherents of Donyi Polo.


 

 

Tai Phake Tribe: (Approx. Population 5,000)

Tai Phake also known as Phakial or simply Phake belongs to the Tai-speaking tribal group living in the areas of Dihing River as well as adjacent parts of Lohit and Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh.


 

 

Takpa Tribe:

The Takpa is a linguistic northern sub-group of the Monpa people, while the southern sub-group is identified as the Tshangla. Monpas of the Takpa group are found in Tawang and Dirang Districts.


 

 

Tangsa Tribe:

The Tangsa tribe is a community of several tens of thousands living in Changlang District. Today, Tangsa people live in the Patkai Mountains, on the border of India and Burma, and some live in the plains areas on the Indian side of the border.


 

 

Tani Tribes:

The Tani tribe is a group of tribes from the state of Arunachal Pradesh with certain common belief systems; primarily, their belief in Abotani as their primeval ancestor. The group comprises Adis  (Pasi, Padam, Minyong, Bori, Pailibo, Bokar), Apatani, Hill Miri, Nyishi and Tagin. They are also often referred to as the Tani group.


 

 

Tutsa Naga: (Approx. Population 25,000)

The Tutsa are a Naga people living in the southern parts of Changlang and the eastern part of Tirap districts. The Tutsa are traditionally followers of Animism. Of late, Baptist missionaries partially supported by NSCN have converted some Tutsa to Christianity.


 

 

Wancho Tribe: (Approx. Population 35,000)

The Wancho are a tribal people inhabiting the Patkai hills of Longding District. Culturally Naga, they are ethnically related to the Nocte and Konyak Naga of the Mon and Tirap districts.


 

 

Zekhring Tribe: (Approx. Population 300)

The Zekhring are from the Anjaw District (formerly part of Lohit district). They live in the hilly terrain and banks of the Lohit River in the Walong and Kibithoo area. As of 2002, their tribal population stood at 300, and their population included members of an ethnically akin tribe, the Meyor.