(Last Updated on : 01-08-2016)
Ojiyele festival is the chief festival
of the Wancho tribe
residing in Tirap district
of Arunachal Pradesh
. The festival is also known as Oriya festival. Oriya festival or Ojiyele festival replicates the rich customs and heritages of the local inhabitants of Tirap district and it is usually held in the months of March to April interspersed with prayer, song and dance. Villagers exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as a mark of greeting and good will. Pigs skin is offered to the village chief as a mark of respect. This festival carries on for several days following more rituals and it includes sowing of Jhum paddy, pigs and buffaloes.
Announcement of Ojiyele Festival
According to the calendar followed by the Wancho tribe, Ojiyele festival is celebrated generally during the months of March and April every year just after implanting paddy in the Jhum plots. The date of this festival is basically fixed by the village chief with the help of Ngwapa; the person who intimate any matter to the villagers and who accompany the chief and village elders by counting the digits on waxing and waning moon. The date of celebration of this festival varies from village
to village. Once the date the festival is fixed, the Ngwapa announces it to the villagers from the platform or podium situated in the middle of the village. As soon as the date of the Ojiyele festival is fixed, people start preparing for the festival. The festival continues for 5 to 10 days immediately after collection of all the required materials.
Celebration of Ojiyele Festival
The first day of the Ojiyele festival is called Wandak. The villagers collect bamboo
from the jungle. At night the bamboo is fixed in the centre of the bamboo gallows or Rangwan made by the village elders. They construct this bamboo scaffold in front of the Chiefs dormitory temporarily for the festival. The village chief and the elders offer prayers. On this first day of the festival, people do not go for cultivation. After completion of the prayer people go back to their homes. Slaughtering of animals
is a common practice on this day of the festival.
Second day of the festival is known as Thoten. On this day, the villagers kill pigs, cows, buffalos, etc. in every house. Grand feast is organized on this day. Young people goes from one house to another to help in slaughtering pigs, cows, buffalos etc. and this day is over with the slaughtering of the animals.
Third day of the festival is called Rangosiea. On this day, people offer prayers for better harvest. They take meal in the paddy field under the temporary thatched shade made for watching crops.
The fourth day of the Oriya festival is called Bonu. On this festive day, all the villagers carry one big piece of flesh of every animal slaughtered to the chief's house. People offer prayers and meal is taken and traditional ceremonial dancing begins after that.
The fifth festive day is called Bosa. On this day, people dance at the dancing ground away from the village. Dancing and singing too are part and parcel of Wancho festivals. Dressed in their best traditional attires, the members of the community both young boys and girls go on singing and dancing especially during this Ojiyele festival. They take the Rangwan before sunset to the place away from their village where big trees
are there. In this way, the Ojiyele festival of the Wancho tribe comes to an end.
Indian Tribal Festivals