Apatani women wind their way through the farms and fields of the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh. Carrying baskets full of rice, with the bride's basket topped with bamboo shoots and a pair of eggs, they find their way to the house of the groom to whom their village relative is getting married. All this is part of a fertility ritual that dates back to ancient times... While the bride's mother brings up the rear, the bride herself leads the marchers.
Nestled in India's northeast lies the little known state of Arunachal Pradesh. Tribal communities with primarily Buddhist and animist faiths, myriad dialects and unique cultural practices make Arunachal Pradesh a fascinating and little known part of India. Such spiritual rituals occur during many phases of a typical Apatani wedding ceremony and celebration.
On reaching the groom's house, the rice is off-loaded into the family granary at the edge of the village, by the groom's relatives. The rice has not been de-husked and remains farm-fresh. Meanwhile, as the village women leave, they are given a token of appreciation for their hard work, by the groom's family members.
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