Preparation of Lapang, an important part of Myoko festival begins

[ Taro Chatung ]
The Lapang is a part of Apatani Myoko festival, celebrated every year during the month of March. The Lapang is a community platform, which is made up of wooden plank. It measures two to five feet in breadth and 12 to 15 feet in length.
Each clan of the Apatani tribe has its own Lapang and without new construction of Lapang, the Myoko festival cannot be celebrated.
In olden days, clan members used to cut down the largest trees and curve it into the shape of a Lapang with the help of axes. It is a very challenging and dangerous task. The preparation of Lapang begins from the month of November and is raise as a platform in the centre of the village on the first week of January.
Carving a piece of Lapang takes a week and more than 12 pieces are required for a platform. It is the most difficult part of Myoko festival and in order to avoid this difficulty, most of the clans of Apatani have now constructed concrete Lapangs. However, some clans still use wooden planks.
Last week, the Leegang, Danding and Nami Tage clans of the Apatani felled a large tree and made three Lapangs out of it and dragged them from the nearby forest area to their village on November 27 for the ensuing Myko festival.
Leegang Kunia has made up his mind to take part in the wood carving process with ethnic Apatani costumes, with an objective to demonstrate the traditional way of Lapang preparation. He says that he wants to show it to the younger generation so that they too could learn it. (The writer is a senior journalist of the state)