Introduction / History
Mishmi is a tribe in Arunachal Pradesh who live in the weakest economy conditions.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The main economic resources of the Mishmis are land and forests. They are primarily farmers. One of the traditional occupations of the Mishmis is weaving, which also involves them in trading in order to sell what they make. Mishmis also produce shawls, blouses, jackets, bamboo baskets, skirts, coats, bags and bead necklaces. Mishmis are non-vegetarians. Men and children consume pork, beef and all other kinds of meat available. However, the women eat only small birds and fish. Their houses are made of bamboo and the roof is thatched with long grass. The peculiarity of these houses is that they are made on pillars and the basement of the house is used for keeping pigs and hens.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Mishmis belong to hereditary shamanism. The most important characteristics are the complex system of belief in the spiritual qualities of nature and the concept of one Supreme Being. Donyi-polo the sun and the moon are regarded as the symbol of eternal truth.
Animals like mithun and pigs are sacrificed for a number of rituals and pujas during festivals. They have pre and post delivery rituals. They believe in some malevolent and benevolent spirits. Mishmis are the followers of the animistic Donyi-polo faith, known as Phong kelum, with some Buddhist influence, notably in their rites.