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An application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Arunachal Pradesh Apatani textile product has been filed by a firm, Zeet Zeero Producer Company Limited.
Getting a GI tag for a product indicates that it originates from a particular territory in India and has unique characteristics or quality.
About Apatani tribe
The Apatani weave comes from the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh living at Ziro, the headquarters of lower Subansiri district. The woven fabric of this tribe is known for its geometric and zigzag patterns, and also for its angular designs.
According to the application filed, the Apatani community weaves its own textiles for various occasions, including rituals and cultural festivals.
The tribe predominantly weaves shawls known as jig-jiro and jilan or jackets called supuntarii. They use different leaves and plant resources for organic dying the cotton yarns in their traditional ways. And only women folk are engaged in weaving.
The traditional handloom of this tribe is a type of loin loom, which is called Chichin, and is similar to the traditional handloom of the Nyishi tribe. It is portable, easy to install and operated by a single weaver, especially the female member of the community.
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UNESCO has proposed the Apatani valley for inclusion as a World Heritage Site for its “extremely high productivity” and “unique” way of preserving the ecology.
They strongly believe in paganism evident from the fact that they don’t use animals for agriculture.
The Apatani tribe origins can be traced back to Mudo Suppung, modern day Tibet. They are said to have migrated from there and nested in the Ziro plateau of the Eastern Himalayas.
Religion: The most followed religion by the tribe is Donyi polo, the faith of praying to the sun (Ayo Danyii) and the moon i.e. Atho Pulo. They refer to Abotani as the founder of the Apatani people. They hold a strong belief in the powers of the sun and the moon, and also have knowledge of herbal medicines to cure most of their ailments.
An Apatani woman can be recognised by their insane body modifications that include accommodating bamboo plugs known as Yapping Hullo by stretching their noses and earlobes.
Festivals: The two most important festivals celebrated are the Dree festival, which is celebrated in the Ziro plateau under the lower Subansari district, and the annual Myoko festival.
Source: This post is based on the article “Plea seeks GI tag for Arunachal Apatani textile product” published in The Hindu on 29th Dec 2021.