FESTIVAL OF WANCHO TRIBE
The Wancho celebrate various fairs and festivals. All these festivals differ in the time of celebration, type of rituals performed During the celebration and the place or location of the celebration etc. but these festivals are in one way or the other and directly or indirectly related with the agriculture and Mother Nature. Oriah is the most important of all the festivals celebrated by the Wancho tribe, earlier known as head hunters. The Oriah is usually celebrated at the beginning of the spring season and it lasts for the whole season in the Wancho area. It is celebrated on different dates in different villages as per the respective lunar calendar they maintain. The calendar too varies slightly from village to village. Generally it is celebrated in the first half of the lunar month. The date is announced by the respective village council. The official celebration of Oriah takes place from 14th to 16th February every year.
The most important feature of the Oriah is the erection of a sacred bamboo post with seven branches, which is called the Zangvaan. In the villages the Zangvaan is procured, decorated and erected at a sacred platform called zangvaan tong. Zangvaan is the symbol of the Oriah festival and also the symbolize culture and religion of Wanchos. After installation of this sacred alter Wancho offer prayers and pray for the rich harvest, good health, prosperity and well being of the entire community.
The traditional house of Wancho is a revelation of tribal supremacy and grandeur, adorning both human and animals skulls on the aisle. They are known for their tattooed faces, blackened teeth and headhunting prowess. They are also wood & bamboo carving specialist. They also make intricate necklaces of colorful beads, the different designs and patterns of the necklaces specify the socio-economic status of the person wearing it. The indigenous headgears, strings of precious beads on the neck, ears and elephant tusk on the arms are jewelries worn by the male fraternity. Their weaves and color patterns used in their attires are worth to admire. These are hardy communities recognized for their strictly structured village society in which the hereditary village chief still plays a pivotal role.
Where to see Oriah
Oriah is celebrated at many places in Longding district and each place have its own style and variation. The district head quarter is the best for people visiting from outside the State.
How to Reach Longding
Longding is connected with double lane National Highway with Dibrugarh via Kanubari. The nearest airports is Dibrugarh.
Where to stay in Longding
The main concern for a visitor is a good place to stay but unfortunately Longding and entire Wancho area have a lack of quality hotels and resorts. In recent times some average hotels and some home stays have come up which can be booked through a good tour operator.
Best Season to Visit
Oriah is celebrated from 14th February to 17th February each year and that can be considered the best time to see the best ethnicity of head hunter tribe.
Longding, Arunachal Pradesh, India