Introduction / History
The Bokar tribe is a sub-tribe of the Adi. They are mainly concentrated in Mechukha, Monigong, Pidi and Tato circles of Mechukha Sub-Division in India, bordering China in West Siang District.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Podi-Barbi festival is celebrated every year on December 5. According to the legend "Podi-Barbi" means a small cricket-like migratory insect which makes a tweeting sound and migrates from far-flung places and arrives at the time of harvesting season in the region. Since the people did not use any calendar by which they could know the exact time of harvesting, they took the arrival of this small insect as their calendar.
The festival is celebrated in the harvesting season, when the insect arrives at the region; and it is celebrated in order to welcome the harvesting season and to extend thankfulness to Mother Nature for a great harvest in current year and pray for sufficient growth of crops in coming years and also pray for ample hunting of wild animals.
During this day men and women wear traditional attire and enjoy the day with fun and merrymaking. Like other festivals of Tani origin, the sacrifice of domestic animals during the festival is another feature of the celebration and the ritual is performed by local priest called Nyubu.
As the people of the area used to depend basically on agricultural products for their living, they grew maize, millet and paddy cultivation along with vegetable items, which they still practice though in very limited quantity. Maize was used as their staple food crop as cultivation of paddy in hilly and rocky terrain was quite difficult and even if cultivated it was in scanty amounts. However, with the introduction of Public Distribution System (PDS) by the government, food habits among the people have drastically changed. The people now are dependent totally on PDS for they prefer rice to maize as food. Even so, they have not abandoned the practice of growing maize, millet and other vegetable items for themselves as well as raising domestic animals.
Culturally and traditionally the people are very rich, but due to lack of proper exposure to outside world most of the people even in the State do not know about the Bokar tribe of Arunachal Pradesh
* Scripture Prayers for the Bokar in India.
Additional information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_people