Riju Dune

The Gallong segment of the Adi tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh, mostly living in the West Siang district, perform the autumnal dance called Riju Dune to welcome the winter. It is therefore performed towards the later part of autumn in November /December. According to a myth of the Adis : Gute Cambre, the summer god, goes back from this world to his original abode in the month of September and along with him summer season quietly departs. It is now time for Podi-Barji, the winter god, to visit this world. With the departure of the summer season all the blood sucking insects perish, snakes disappear and human beings feel relieved. Podi-Barji visits this world from the later part of October and stays here till the advent of spring.

To welcome the Podi-Barji, the Gallongs perform the Riju Dune dance. Both men and women participate in the dance. The dancers stand in three rows holding each other’s hands. The leader of the dance is called Miri. He sings and brandishes his sword called Dao which produces a tinkling sound since iron rings are loosely incorporated in the sword. The dancers repeat the line sung by the Miri and swinging their hands go forward and backward. There are four movements in the dance and each movement begins with a new stanza of the song tendered by the Miri. The female dancers wear a typical costume called Jese-Kore, which is a white lungi like skirt with a black border at the bottom and a black band with design in the middle. The costume also includes a red blouse. They wear necklaces made of colored beads and very large size earrings. The male dancers wear white loin cloth and a black sleeveless jacket called Labuk. No musical instrument other than the Dao is used.