Book on Idu Mishmi shamanic rituals released

[ Karyir Riba ]

ROING, 24 Oct: Igu, a book on the shamanic rituals of the Idu Mishmi tribe, was released during the annual felicitation programme for the academic toppers of the Idu Mishmi community here in Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) district on Sunday.

This book is the second book written by Dr Razzeko Dele and published by the Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society (IMCLS). It is part of the community’s endeavour to conserve and document its rich ancient tradition, as the apex body is very clear about its commitment to conserve, document and usher forward the Idu Mishmi shamanistic tradition.

Dr Dele informed that the four short shamanic rituals dealt with in the book are

essential and the root of other larger rituals.

“Shamanism among the Idu Mishmi is on the verge of extinction. The IMCLS is taking various steps to conserve the ancient tradition. This book is also part of the endeavour to document the traditional cultural component of the tribe. This is my second book on shamanism of Idu Mishmis and shall attempt more to document the traditional cultural component in days to come also,” said Dr Dele, who has a book on the Idu Mishmi shamanic funeral ritual called ‘Ya’ under his belt.

“Coming from the family of shamans, the ancient tradition of the Igus has always fascinated me since my early childhood. On many occasions my uncle, a renowned shaman, would take me along while conducting different rituals. The mystic dances and sacred moves lulled me to spiritual fantasy and awestruck me. This dimension also aroused in me the urge to understand the shamanistic chants. Working on the traditional chants has enabled me to identify myself, my culture and experience the thought process of my ancestors,” he added.

Dr Dele expressed gratitude to the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research for funding the project.

During the programme, student toppers of Classes 10 and 12, college and university were felicitated by the IMCLS.

LDV DC KN Damo shared stories of motivation and inspiration with the students. “The world is full of opportunities but only for the hardworking and dedicated. Nobody can defeat you if you are dedicated and hardworking,” he said, and urged the students to work towards their goals and live up to the hope of their community.

IMCLS president Ginko Linggi spoke to the students and advised them to remain focused on their studies and have discipline. “Do not stray away from your goals. Make a target and follow. Identify a role model from the society and establish contact with them. Ask them questions and take advice from them,” he said.

The students also had interaction and orientation with various intellectuals of the community like APPSCE topper Rome Mele, IIT alumnus Phuken Mickrow, engineer Jimu Mele, Planning DD Akepi Linggi, and others.