"Apatani tribals live in the ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh. Their houses are made of bamboo.
Also unique to the Apatanis are the simple and sturdy bamboo houses they live in. Bamboo is an incredibly useful resource, and thus is highly esteemed among the Apatani people. Almost every family has their own nursery of bamboo plants, where they grow a unique species that was imported from China centuries ago. Bamboo is used not only for building, but for cooking, eating, and in the creation of sacrificial objects.
Most Apatanis are followers of the Doni-Polo religion, a religion with no written scriptures. Believers pray to a number of deities and spirits of the natural world. Sacrifices and rituals coincide with the lunar cycle, and also occur during occasions such as weddings.
Spiritual rituals occur during many phases of a typical Apatani wedding ceremony and celebration. The bride and the women of her extended family make a ritual march to her future husband's house carrying baskets full of rice. As a gesture of prosperity and good luck, the bride will typically carry the first basket of rice to the groom with bamboo and eggs in it. The women will then receive gifts in return from the groom's family.
Another common ritual involves sprinkling the blood of a chicken in household doorways, which is said to bring good luck to the families living inside. The priests and elders within a village generally carry out chicken sacrifices, but anyone is welcome to participate. When carrying out the sacrifice, Apatanis make sure to read their fortunes in the tiny chicken livers. Though the chicken is killed in devotion to the gods, most of its parts are used or consumed after the sacrifice.
The ritual sacrifice of a pig also occurs to celebrate a marriage. It is cooked over a fire to accompany boiled bamboo and rice as part of a multi-day feast. To complete the celebration, the Apatanis drink rice beer, which is a drink common across Arunachal Pradesh made from fermented rice. Lastly, small structures are created out of bamboo, eggshells and chicken feathers in honor of the marriage. They are hung in front of houses and along village paths to bring good fortune to the newlyweds and their families.
Rat hunts, carried out every so often in this meat-eating corner of India, are another curious part of Apatani life. They are smoked out of their underground homes, captured and killed, and then roasted on small spits. Rodent-eating is common in southeast Asian nations, such as Thailand, but is unheard of in other parts of India.
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