Nga people

The Nga tribe ( _bo. ང), or better known as Na, is a small tribal group residing in the higher reaches, below the great Himalayan ranges in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Within the district, they are found in the villages within Taksing circle: Gumsing, Taying, Esnaya, Lingbing, Tongla, Yeja, Reding, Redi, Dadu villages. As of 2000, the tribal population stood at 1,500. However, the Nga are classified together with the Tagin in all official censuses, who are ethnically related to them.

The Nga were believed to have migrated South from the north in Tibet following racial persecution from the Tibetans, but later engage in trade with the Tibetans after the Nishi served as a mediator between the two groups until recent times. However, relations with their neighbours were often unstable, for instance the shift of preference of their northern Tibetan trading partners in a 1906 incident resulted in a massacre which claimed many lives from their tribal group. [cite book|title=The Cult of Pure Crystal Mountain: Popular Pilgrimage and Visionary Landscape in Southeast Tibet|author=Toni Huber|publisher=Oxford University Press|year=1999|pages=166-8|isbn=0195120078]

The Nga are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism but are also influenced by pre-Buddhist Shaman practices. Both Buddhist Lamas and traditional Shamans, known as Nyibu in the native tongue, are employed for religious occasions. [cite book|title=Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh: Identity, Culture, and Languages|author=Dalvindar Singh Grewal|publisher=South Asia Publications|year=1997|pages=197|isbn=8174330194]

Like most tribes living in higher elevations, they built permanent houses made of stone and cultivate the usable land. One can see villages owning terraced fields and growing maize, millet and barley etc. They breed domestic animals that include the yak and sheep, and their clothes are made of spun wool. [cite book|title=Tribes of India: Ongoing Challenges|author=Rann Singh Mann|publisher=M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd.|year=1996|pages=401|isbn=8175330074]

The Nga are closely related to the Tagin both ethnically and linguistically than to the Tibetans but claim to be a separate group, like the Mara who live in Limeking. However, both tribes acknowledge that they shared a common ancestry with the Tagin. [cite book|title=Tribes of India: Ongoing Challenges|author=Rann Singh Mann|publisher=M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd.|year=1996|pages=395-402|isbn=8175330074]


External links

* [ Ethnologue profile of Nga]

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