Culture of Friendship Among the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh
The Apatanis of Ziro Valley are a tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. The community is known for their sedentary agriculture among all dry farming communities in this state. It is sustained without the use of draught power and an indigenously developed irrigation system. Inhabiting a small sequestered plateau, their agriculture represents the most efficient in terms of energy use. Among the traditional institutions of the Apatani is the labour gang known as the Pataň. Its composition is based largely on village friendship cutting across genders that are equally represented, in addition to kinship-based unity. This aspect is evident in a tradition during Myoko festival where friends visit across villages to renew their ties. The festival and its associated rituals also assign a special position to friendship. The paper seeks to explore the ritual aspect of friendship and its relevance of friendship in the circulation of labour for sedentary agriculture.