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
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 :
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.
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.
It is seen that most of the villagers have acquaintance with tea. As a drink, tea is
popular among them only next to apong.
Most of the traditional food items (pig, beef etc.)
have been abandoned by the villagers after their conversion to Vaishnavism.
from the influence of Hinduism, the growth of marketing centres and improvement in
transportation have been playing important role in changing food habits of