The women of Dafla tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh dance on the occasion of a child birth in the community. They dance in semicircular formation, each dancer holding the waist of the two dancers flanking her. They sing while dancing. No musical instrument is used. The waist girdles and iron chains produce a tinkling sound that becomes the percussion music of the dance.
The Adis are one of the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Their marriage ceremony is called Nyida Parik which has its own characteristics and style. There is also a legend associated with the Adi marriage. It is as follows: Donyi is the sun god. His daughter is Dony Mundi. She was married to Abo-Tani, the father of all human beings. Their marriage ceremony was a grand affair. Marriage of anyone of the Adi community should follow the same ceremonial rituals.
After completion of preliminary arrangements of marriage agreed upon by both the parties, the bride party along with the bride is invited to visit the house of the groom. A grand reception awaits the bride party at some distance from the house of the groom. In the reception is included the dance of two groups of male dancers. The dancers of one party wear hats made of cane and decorated with beaks of horn-bill. They hold poles called Yoksa. The dancers of the other party wear hats made of cane but without any decoration. They hold brass plates. When the bride’s party comes nearer the dancers start dancing and hitting the poles on the ground and beating the brass plates rhythmically. The dance is usually in faster tempo. The horn-bill signifies the nobility of the groom’s family and the brass plates implies that they speak in a pleasant voice. In other words the dance in the reception express symbolically that the groom deserves the bride.
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.
The Adi tribal community of Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh holds a festival to propitiate Mopin, the deity of prosperity. One of the important part of the festival is the sacrifice of a Mithun, a kind of animal peculiar to this region. The sacrifice is followed by a dance called Popir. The Mopin priest leads the dance and three or four dancers follow him. The Popir dancers use costumes made of bamboo earrings and leaves, sprinkled with rice-powder. They also wear shawls and flower decorations
In Arunachal Pradesh the Shardukpen tribal community perform Bardo Chham dance on festive occasions. Bardo Chham literally means dance of horoscopes. Dancers wearing colorful masks perform this dance indicating that the activities of living beings are watched by the gods who reward the good and punish the evil forces. A large frame drum with a long handle played with a stick provides the percussion music for the dance.