Acculturation Among the Mishings                                                Page :40

 
Dr. Jatin
Mipun's

T
h
e

M
i
s
h
i
n
g
s

o
f

A
s
s
a
m


Dr. Jatin
Mipun's

T
h
e

M
i
s
h
i
n
g
s

o
f

A
s
s
a
m


Vaishnavism and again started to practice their traditional rituals. In Jengraimukh Tinali, the Bhagawatias of the area constructed a Namghar in 1961, specially for the newly converted families. The  families who are still performing the rules of the newly converted cult, have been performing religious duties daily.
Food Habit
                 The food habits of the Mishings, as found in the field, are now-a-days similar with the non-tribal neighbouring Hindus. But, to a certain extent, their food habits still have a similarity with the Adis of Arunachal (Elwin, 1957 : 77-80; Roy, 1966 : 33-36). Before the acceptance of Hinduism and the impact of non-tribal Hindus to a greater extent, the Mishings ate pig, fowl, beef, and drank spirit and beer, and had no caste notion about the preparation of food (Hunter, 1979 : 343). Now, after Hinduisation, lot of changes are taking place in their food habits. As found in the field, rice (apin) is the staple food of the villagers. The people have three meals in a day. One is taken in morning, one in mid-day and another in the evening. Though, the villagers now-a-days know various processes of cooking, yet boiled food is still popular among them. Along with rice, boiled edible leaves (e.g. dermi, ombe, pakkam, takuk etc.), meat (adin) and fish (ango) are some of the popular food items of the villagers. Dried meat and fish are very popular.
                 In comparison to other food items made of rice, apong (rice beer) is a much popular drink among the villagers. It is of two types, viz. Nagin apong and po:ro apong. Out of these two types, any one is always taken at the time of meal. Moreover, at first the villagers offer apong to their guests which is regarded as honour shown to the guests. Apong, adin (meat), ango (fish) edible leaves are also used as a part of food items in their festivals and ritual ceremonies.
                The impact of Hinduism and regional culture is found in the changing pattern of food habit of the Mishings. The Hinduisation has taught them the notion of purity and pollution. And for that the Gosains of the Satras have played the major role, because they taught the people about what should be taken and what should not be taken. As informed by the villagers, formerly, beef was the inevitable part of their food item, but after the influence of the Gosains, beef eating is prohibited among them. The following changes in food, drink habits and entertainment are visible in the villages :
           (1)      The villagers, now-a-days, offer betel nut (tamul-pan) to the guests in place  of apong. The betel nut is a part of the regional Assamese culture which is accepted by the Mishings.
          (2)       Now-a-days, eggs (api), milk (gakir), oil (tulang) are included in their food items which did not form the part of their food habit in the past.
          (3)       It is seen that most of the villagers have acquaintance with tea. As a drink,  tea is popular among them only next to apong.
          (4)       Most of the traditional food items (pig, beef etc.) have been abandoned by the villagers after their conversion to Vaishnavism.
               Apart from the influence of Hinduism, the growth of marketing centres and improvement in transportation have been playing important role in changing food habits of 


HOME

BACK NEXT

Designed & Maintained by Gemini Dotcom Pvt. Ltd.