Origin of Adi Tribe
The Adi tribes trace their origin from Pedong Nane. Pedong Nane was the great granddaughter of Sedi Melo the creator. The Adi is one of the important tribes of the Siang Frontier Division. The sub tribal communities collectively forming the Adi tribe belong under two divisions namely the Bomis and Bogums. The major sub-tribal communities that Adi tribe includes are the Padams, Milangs, Komkars, Minyongs and Pasis. Another group of the Adi tribes comprises sub-tribal communities like Galo and seven other groups. Racially the Adi tribes belong to the Mongoloid stock with well-built features.
Society of Adi Tribe
The father is considered the head of the family. They have nicely organised village council, better known as ‘Kebang’. The Adi tribe is organized into several clans. This tribe is determinant of the social relationship and kinship. Family is the lowest unit of social organization and nuclear in character. In a family of their community, after marriage, eldest sibling separate and establish new residence while the youngest stay back and look after the old parents. Monogamy is the common form of marriage, though polygamy is socially restricted. A marriage arranged by parents and elders is considered ideal. In the Adi community, dead bodies are buried.
Adi society has two types of dormitories - for the boys it is called ‘Moshup’ and for girls it is called ‘Rasheng’. They believe that this system develops the spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and adjustment and fellow feeling among the children.
Occupation of Adi Tribe
Food production is achieved by cultivation, hunting and fishing. They practice Jhum cultivation. Paddy, maize, millet is sown in the same field. Art works are popular amongst Adi tribal communities. Handicrafts of the Adi tribes are best seen in their cane and bamboo works like baskets, trays, haversacks, mats and hats and headgears with artistic designs that are produced for domestic use. Women belonging to the Adi tribal group are expert weavers.
Religion of Adi Tribe
The majority of Adi traditionally followed the animist Donyi-Polo religion, which involves the worship of the sun, the moon, and the ancestral god, the shaman, called Miri, can be a female. Other deities traditionally worshipped by the Adi include Kine Nane, Doying Bote, Gumin Soyin and Pedong Nane. In modern times many of the Adi have moved away from Donyi-Polo. A growing number of Adi, especially among the youth, have converted to Christianity.
Festivals of Adi Tribe
The fairs and festivals of the Adi tribe reflect their rich culture and heritage. Their main festivals are Solung, Etor and Aaran. Huge feasts are hosted, offerings are made to deities. Songs and dances are performed in these occasions. Dances performed are in-group lead by a main singer (Miri). Popular dances are the Ponung, Delong, Yakjong and Tapu, which is in-fact, a war dance. Ponung is however most common of all the dances. It is an integral part of the lifestyle of Adi tribes. They have adopted their own style of dancing.
The Adi tribes are very fond of dances. They perform group dances. The dancers are linked to one another in a certain manner by the hands, by the waist or the shoulders. The main movements of the dance are confined to legs, arms and central part of the body. The Adis live on the high spurs of hills.