Revival of indigenous isolation rituals in the North-east

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Galo Tribe, in North-east India, have revived their indigenous lockdown rituals.

About the Revival

The Galo people have revived the indigenous lockdown practice after 3 to 4 decades. This is one of the rare instances where it’s being used for the safety of humans as it’s generally used to prevent transmission of infectious diseases among livestock.

Arr Rinam

Arr Rinam is a lockdown ritual practiced by the Galo tribes. It is imposed by consensus for a period of 48 hours in times of epidemics. It generally follows the Arr Ternam ritual. The term Ali Ternam is from the words ‘Ali’ meaning epidemic and ‘ternam’ meaning forestall. The ritual is performed under the guidance of a shaman called Nyibo, by the priests called Bos.

Galo Tribe

The Galos are tribal people who live in Central Eastern Himalayan region. They are mainly settled in Arunachal Pradesh. They are recognised as a Scheduled Tribe by the Indian government and are one of the 26 major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. They are noted for their Popir dance and their Mopin festival.

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