Introduction / History
The Lisu people in India are called Yobin.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Yobin live in Vijoynagar circle (in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh state, India). In this circle (administrative unit below a district), there are 10 villages where Lisu people live: Dawodi, Hazolo, Pritnagar, Maludi, Gandhigram, Shidikhu, Sichoto, Mibodi, Ngwazakha, and Aguchi. Gandhigram is the largest village; other villages have fewer houses. Now about 100 persons are also residing in a nearby town called Miao, basically for education and businesses.
Access to these villages is limited. The villages are about 100-150 km from the nearest motorable roads, Miao town. People have to walk on foot this distance to purchase necessary items from towns. It takes 4 days of walk on foot! The other alternative route is through cargo flight. It just take an hour to fly into the village. The problem is, you never know when you get flight. You might get it in a week or a month. It depends, due to frequency of flights or weather etc.
Estimates of the Yobin population is about 1000 to 3000 people.
Most of the people live in villages, very few are employed in government offices. The place Yobin live is virtually all rural. People basically live on agricultural products. Rice, potato, maize are staple foods. Cabbage, cauliflower, beans are also cultivated. Each family has paddy field, gardens to plan vegetables or even jhum cultivation for additional food.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Yobin rear cows, buffalos, chicken, pigs for food. Buffalos are much more for farming the paddy fields. Pigs are main meat for festivals and marriages.
The Yobin observe several festivals, mostly Christian Good Friday, harvest, Christmas, New Years. Yobin celebrate Good Friday atleast 1 or 2 days. Harvest is for 2 days in October. Christmas celebrated for 3 days. On Christmas, Lisu Christians from all the villages come together in one village. Marriages are usually done in November and December. That is when harvest is completed, people are free from work, and the weather is dry which makes marriage preparations easier.
Now almost all Yobin claim to be Christians. Some may never come to church, but they do not belong to another religion either.