In a nutshell: Expedition to Arunachal Pradesh, to Chinese border. In cooperation with Humboldt University of Berlin we restored and described the paths of Tibetan pilgrimages in the area of Pemako, the Buddhist “Hidden Paradise”. Extensive material gathered on social customs and beliefs of the local indigenous Tibeto-Burman tribes.
Expedition materials are prepared for publishing and will appear on site soon. Stay tuned.
A skull carved in a support pile of a Naga’s bachelor’s dormitory
The sun setting in the hills of Nagalim
A small yet proud-hearted state of Nagaland lies at the border of India and Myanmar, on the steep slopes of Naga Hills and Patkai Hills. In any other place of the world these hills would have a proud designation of mountains, but here, in the shadow of Himalayas, their 2000 meters look dwarfish…
We finally managed to escape from the “Safety Zone” of Imphal. And up to the Myanmar border, we hoped to meet no police nor military troops. Only some villages found on satellite images – no other information, no maps, no reports. Seems like nobody ever ventured into these hills – or kept silent about his explorations.
Pictures from the state of Manipur – with lots of rebels and abundance of military forces, trying to keep them in order.
There are two major groups of people, living in the state – peoople of the plains, Meitei and some others. And the hill tribes – kuki, zo, paite, and several clans of nagas.
Only pictures here. The main entry is only available in Russian, sorry.
The beautiful face of Manipur
Our last little story on Meghalayans, before we plunge into the dusty clouds of Manipur.
This woman also has a talking name, Bethel – and she is to some point a very picture of the whole khasi people.
A mantis travelling on Roman’s shoulder
We met no more human ashes, nor voodoo dolls on our way to the cave. The mystic cave turned out to be a hole in a limestone sink, about one meter in diameter. The khasi stayed away from the hole, trying to peep into the vertical hole from a distance.
On and on, ever turning and turning, and sliding up and down the hills of Meghalaya, we pedal to the East. Towards the state of Manipur, burning in the flames of a revolt. Behind us, in front of us, side by side with us Tata trucks roar they way from the coal mines, huge, rubbed, all heavily loaded with coal. “Give way, you little nuisances!” they horn to us huskily. When tired of climbing up the hills, Roma and Gleb speed up and clutch at the frame of the nearest truck. Tata usually doesn’t like this, but the driver sticks out of the window, looking back at them, smiling and absolutely nonchalant about the road safety.
Road makers greet our peloton
Wandering the hilly and sylvan Land of Nyishi – one of the biggest tribes in Arunachal Pradesh – can bring you all sorts of increaqdible encounters. Just step off the beaten paths, cross the jungle, climb the faraway hills – and meet all these fabular people in their usual rural settings. Be sure – you will be the first foreigner they ever meet. We, actually, were!
Nobody knows what is a saw here. So they just take their knives and their daos (Asian type of machete, a mixture of a sword and a knife, for cutting paths in the jungle) and cut their doors from whole tree trunks. This takes really big effort!