(Last Updated on : 12/12/2008)
Amongst various tribes that reside in Arunachal Pradesh
, The Sherdukpen tribes are fair in complexion resembling to that of Mongoloid people. They are mainly settled at Thongree. However, at present they are mainly settled in near about four villages of Arunachal, namely, Rupa, Jigaon, Shergaon, Thongri and also in Doimara area.
The whole of the society of Sherdukpen tribes is divided into two classes. They are namely, Thong and Chao. According to several sources of anthropologists, the thongs are said to be descendant of king Jsotang. Bura and Chao are believed to belong to his partners and servant class. The Thong tribes are thought to be elite class, while the other tribes Chao are commoners. The two classes again are segregated into quite a numerous clans.
The society of the Sherdukpen tribes is patriarchal and they put into practice monogamous marriage. The houses of Sherdukpen tribes are in general raised up on large stone foundations. The floor and walls of these houses are made of thick wooden planks.
The Sherdukpen tribes are pious practicing Buddhism and other various religious practices. They observe quite a handful of religious ceremonies also. Amongst them, Choskar, Losar, and Wang are quite significant. The ceremony Khiksabha is an example of non-Buddhist ceremony, largely feted by the tribal people that reside at the fringes of any of the Sherdukpen village.
As far as their occupation are concerned, most of the Sherdukpen tribes take up agriculture, widely practicing both 'shifting and permanent' cultivation. They also take a lot of care of their sock of animals that they domesticate including ponies, cows, goats, sheep, fowls and bullocks. Hunting too has been taken up as profession by many Sherdukpen tribes. These herds of hunters go for hunting fetes with large bows and arrows.
The fishermen that also comprise of Sherdukpen tribes do exercise fishing with the help of nets, angles and traps. Artistic fervor too is one of the qualities of these Sherdukpen tribes. Mainly the Sherdukpen females have developed expertise in weaving.
No culture is considered to be enriched without its treasure of dance and musical exuberances. Sherdukpen tribes practice several dance forms like The Yak dance, the Deer dance and Ajilamu dance. Crowds found them to be really entertaining and enjoy these performances to their heats content. Especially amongst the Sherdukpen tribes, a special Bird dance is quite popular.
The lifestyle of Sherdukpen tribes is simple and free. They enjoy life on their own terms. A fascinating thing in the life of Sherdukpen tribes is their yearly immigration during the winter months to Doimara to keep up their long relations with the plains.