Age-old tradition of manyan/manayang revived

YAZALI, 11 Mar: The age-old tradition of manyan (as termed by the Apatanis) and manayang (as termed by the Nyishis) was revived at Takam Passa here in Lower Subansiri district on Saturday.

“The manyan/manayang system is a social bonding between the Apatanis and the Nyishis since time memorial, with reciprocity of barter system, friendship and allegiance of help and protection to each other,” DNGC Assistant Professor Nending Ommo informed in a release.

“As part of the reunion, a trekking campaign was mounted to look for a stone, reportedly installed by an Apatani man at Takam Passa, Yazali,” the release said, adding that “the trek turned to a joyous reunion of Dassar Taba clan of Nyishi and Nada clan of Hija Apatani village.”

“Taba Begi, who is probably in his 80s, informed that, when he was a child, “four men from Nada clan of Hija village, who were their manyangs, came to visit his father Taba Tekhi, son of

Dassar Taba, in Takam Passa with goodies, and exchanged mithuns as gifts.

“The Taba clan gifted a black mithun and the Nada clan gifted a white mithun whose horns were of almost the same size, measuring 5 inches,” the release stated.

Social worker Taba Dol, who organised the trek, informed that they had heard the story from their elders that Nada Chobing, Nada Tomu (Tamu), Nada Roja (Ruja), and Nada Tajum (Taking) had come to visit them with four porters each with gifts.

Before leaving, they installed a monolith of friendship (dapo pogyan), measuring almost 70 cms, with a promise that the Tabas are manyans of the Nadas, “and if anyone threatened Tabas, it would be deemed that Nadas were challenged, and that the latter would stand in support of the Tabas, no matter what,” it said.

“Dani Sulu, son of Dani Kunya – the first agency council member who represented undivided Subansiri – and who happens to be the uncle of the Nadas, said that the trek and the meet were “only the first of many more meetings and programmes.”

Both Taba and Nada clans promised to preserve the sacred Dapo Pogyan area as a heritage site.

RGU Professor Nani Bath said that “the revival of the manyan/manayang system has helped to strengthen the bond between the Apatanis and the Nyishis, and has opened up the possibility for more such reunions in the future.”

The reunion of the two clans was witnessed by, among others, Prof Bath, senior advocate Tatup Tana Tara, and Prof Ommo.

“From the Tabas, retired army man Tao Sokap, Tao Herum GB and Techi Tao witnessed the reunion,” the release stated.