form a vital element in the zest and joy of living of the tribals. They
dance on important rituals, during festivals and also for recreation
occassionally. They vary from highly stylised religious dance dramas of
the Buddhists to the martial steps and colourful performances of the
Noctes and Wanchos.
Various Dance Forms
The dances of the people of Arunachal are group dances - where both men and women take part. There are, however, some dances such as Igu dance of the Mishmi priests, war dances of the Adis, Noctes and Wanchos, ritualistic dance of the Buddhist tribes, which are male dances. Females are not allowed to dance in these dances.
The Tribal Folk Dances
Some of the popular folk dances of the people are 'Aji Lamu' (Monpa Tribe), 'Roppi ' (Nishing Tribe), 'Hiirii Khaniing' (Apatani Tribe), 'Popir' (Adi Tribe), 'Pasi Kongki ' (Adi), 'Chalo' (Nocte Tribe), 'Ponung' (Adi Tribe), 'Rekham Pada' (Nishing Tribe), Lion and Peacock dance (Monpa) and so on. Songs sung generally in chorus accompany most of the dances.
The Monpas, besides performing Monastic dances for three days during Torgya festivals, also perform other dances on different occasions. Some of them are - Aji Lhamu Dance, Yak Dance and Lion & Peacock Dances, etc.
Among the Adis dance had evolved almost into an art form mainly for entertainment and recreation. Teams of young girls in perfect rhythmic unison perform the 'Phoning' dance of Adis. Nishis and Tagins of Upper and Lower Subansiri Districts perform similar group dance in colourful costumes.