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The time to take our leave from Ziro and the Apatani was drawing near, but we had one more stop to make. It was customary for travellers to seek the blessing of the village shaman before embarking on a journey, so we were on our way to do just that. Shortly after we got to his house, the shaman arrived in his formal garb which included a vest and a head adornment… Read More

Markets often hold little surprises in store, a trinket or titbit that captures the essence of the location and sticks in one’s memory long after leaving. What would that be in Ziro? I asked myself as we moved under the canopy out of the afternoon rain. There were fresh bamboo shoots, dried yak meat on a skewer and wild cardamom pods whose aroma we likened to that of vanilla. Coloured corn, chickpeas… Read More

After arriving in Ziro, we were joined by a local Tanii-speaking guide. There was nothing wrong with our curiosity, he explained, but not all villagers are accustomed to being the subject of prolonged gazes and camera lenses. In retrospect, we were quite glad to hear that. Soon enough, a man with a springy gait came walking toward us. A smile of recognition crossed his leathery face and he beckoned us to accompany… Read More

Surrounded by undulating hills and punctuated by streams, the Ziro valley is a highly fertile landscape which is home to the Apatani, an ethnically distinct tribe whose relationship with nature lies at the heart of its cultural identity. The livelihood of the Apatani people is based on agriculture, specifically paddy cultivation, where every centimetre is prudently utilized to maximize the yield of three crops: millet is planted on the inside walls of… Read More