Dree Festival – from the farms of Arunachal Pradesh

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The traditional dance at the Dree festival

For centuries, we have been an agrarian country rich with indigenous and sustainable practices. As the topography of our vast countries varies from plains and plateaus to hills and coasts, so do farming practices and indegenous crops. One such community that has been able to retain its unique indigenous and sustainable agricultural practices is the Apatanis community hailing from the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh.

It is believed that centuries ago, when agriculture and human settlements were set up for the forefathers of the community, they were plagued by a number of troubles in the form of pests, crop eating birds, failed crops and drought. While the humans cannot control these elements of nature, they can attempt to appease deities with their faith and hope for the safety of their crops and food. With this intention, the Dree Pontan, or village committee, was set up to include the head of the village, the knowledgeable elderly, the high priests and the villagers.

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