Sharp slump in number of Apatani priest

ITANAGAR, Nov 11: With decline in priest number, the Apatani community is facing lot of problem in performing traditional rituals, especially funeral ceremony, observed senior journalist Taro Chatung.
According to him, there has been a sharp slump in the number of Apatani priest since last 15 years.
“Being an indigenous faith believer, it makes me feel immense pain, when mortal remains of a member of the community are disposed without having performed traditional rituals for want of indigenous priest,” Chatung, who is best known for his news show “News and Views,” said.
“This is one of the reasons of conversion,” he opined.
However, the silver lining is some Medar Nello goers of Hija and Dutta villages of Apatani plateau are coming forward to take up the job of priest. The leaders of the Medar Nello, Kago Takha and Koj Apa Yakang have performed funeral ritual for the first time on March 7, 2017.
Till today, they have performed funeral rituals on seven occasions.
Founded by Kago Sira, who died on November 12, 2015 the Meder Nello has been functioning voluntarily since 2004, he added.