Workshop on aabang concludes

[ Karyir Riba ]

ROING, 1 Dec: A three-month-long ‘training-cum-workshop on aabang’, which is an oral literature of the Adi community, concluded at the giidi notko here in Lower Dibang Valley district on Wednesday.

The first-of-its-kind programme was organised by the Adi Cultural & Literary Society (ACLS) with the aim of preserving and promoting the community’s oral literature – aabang – and to train at least five persons as ‘miri abu rhapsodists’ to meet the shortage of miri abus (Adi shamans) to perform delong and ponung (Adi rituals) in the Adi villages of the district.

The training programme was sponsored by MLA Gum Tayeng, who also donated Rs 4 lakhs for the purpose.

The most popular miri abu of the Adi community and Dambuk HGB Maktel Pertin, and rhapsodist Getem Lego from Jia village were the resources persons who trained 28 persons who enrolled for the training. Eventually, 12 trainees completed the course.

The trainees had to qualify in two written examinations and three practical examinations to pass the course.

The most important test was conducted in the presence of at least 45 senior members of the community and other prominent figures, at the residence of ACLS GS Obang Langkam on 19 November.

“Aabang is an oral literature which is literally coded by rhapsodies which elucidate the mythology, folklore, origin and cultural aspects of the Adi tribe. Chanting of aabang is done by priestly people called miri abu, in the form of delong, ponung, bari, and penge, during special occasions like Solung giidi, lutor, lune, funerals, housewarming, etc,” Langkam informed.

“Aabangs have been practiced since time immemorial, but with the dawn of modern world, we as a tribe have ignored its importance. The rich heritage of the tribe is now left at the hands of only a few miri abus of the community, and this training programme is a small initiation to preserve aabang, which is in need of urgent attention and preservation,” he said.