Myth, Memory and Folktale of the Wancho Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh : The Stories of Our Ancestors

Where do stories come from? Is it about people making sense of their past, their history, the world around them? For the Wancho tribe of Arunachal Pradesh stories are part of the texture of their life, passed down from generation to generation. The Wancho tribe have lived in seclusion in the remote upper Wancho area nestled in the verdant green Patkai hills bordering Myanmar. These stories are fascinating in their diversity, variety and scope. They come together to give us a sense of the rich, complex worldview of the Wancho tribe. The ancestors of the Wancho tribe were warriors. The elders are known as knowledge keepers, libraries in which the entire tribe finds all its stories—about their relationships with the community, the forests, hills and rivers, and with the world of plants, trees, insects, animals and supernatural beings. They share these memories about life, love and belonging; and about the age-old cultural traditions that are unheard and unknown beyond the region. The Wancho have been self-sufficient since the time of their ancestors, but their way of life is changing quickly now. As the Wancho saying goes: Kahon munboy pohon boi (everything except words come to an end).
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