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Igu Dance troupe set to mesmerize Delhi

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT

Itagar, January 5: The Igu Dance troupe, which was selected as one of the Republic Day Tableau for this year to represent the state of Aruchal Pradesh at Delhi, is all set to enthrall the tiol audience.

The fully prepared troupe yestertday left for the tiol capital with all their necessary costumes, dress and traditiol musical instruments, an official release said.

Ten young artists who got the rare and golden opportunity to perform on the big occasion include, Yo Mele, Ando Elapra, Seteka Mili, Prendi Miso, Mompa Linggi, Ajome Melo, Jooni Elapra, Ni Mele, Shila Linggi and Athupi Aprawe.

If all goes well and smoothly, they would not only represent the state but would also get an opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage, distinctive costumes, handlooms and handicrafts of the Idu Mishmi tribe of the state who are widely known for their expert craftsman, the release said.

The Idu women in particular are very good weavers. Their great aesthetic sense is well reflected in the exquisite designs created on the clothes produced on handlooms. The Idu men are well apt in making beautiful basketry items of bamboo and cane. Igu Dance has its own recognition.  Among the tribe, the dance is called as "Reh ya" as the dance is also an important aspect of the "Reh Festival" of the tribe which is celebrated in the month of February every year. The dance is mainly performed by the Priest called as "Igu" and his assistants creating a festive environment. The dance begins with a long invocatory song followed by assistants in chorus synchronizing with the musical accompaniment. The reiterated monotonous beat of drum bells and bugle evoke a spiritually charged atmosphere in the hall. The priest is central to their belief system and culture. It is believed that Igu can able to contact good and evil spirits and cure people of illness.

Traditiolly, an Igu represents the central icon in the are of religious beliefs and practices in Idu society. Almost every major aspect of Idu life revolves around their Igus and its importance is reflected even beyond the sacred boundary, since they are involved in profane activities. He is a healer as a medicine man and intermediary between man and spirits by performing various rituals.

The dance is an important aspect of their faith and beliefs. They belief that by performing the dance, the ancestors and benevolent spirits are pleased and thus bring peace, fertility of soil, sustence of clan and prosperity for the house. On the occasion of festivals, the community and the performing priest come with their colourful dresses and costumes.

Rajya Sabha MP Mukut Mithi, his legislator son Mutchu Mithi, Lower Dibang Valley DC Shiv Kumar and Inju Linggi, President, Idu Mishmi Cultural & Literary Secretary among others extended best wishes to the artists, the release said.

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Ankur Kalita

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