(6) Another significant change
observed in the field is that some of the villagers have guest rooms in their houses. This
is one of the direct influence of the non tribal Assamese. As a member of the same
community, the investigator has the experience that few years back most of the
Mishings villagers had no such separate drawing rooms for the guests. The guests or
the co-villagers have to enter directly to the fire place for any sort of
discussion. But now-a-days, a separate room, which is used as drawing room (guest room) is
often seen in the households.
The dress of the
Mishings can be divided into two distinct types as indicated by Roy (1966 : 74) in case of
the tribes of Arunachal. The two distinct types are (i) general dress for everyday use,
and (ii) special dress for festivals and ceremonial functions. As observed in the field,
the dress for the everyday use of the people is very simple. The dress of the men is
similar to non-tribal Assamese. A simple white dhoti (ugon) or sometimes a long
coloured dumer (towel) and a shirt (galuk) is the dress of the men. The
dress of the women is also simple, but divided into two pieces of garments. They generally
wear a skirt (mosanam age) covering the part from the waist to the knee. The
upper piece (gasong or gero) fastened above the breast falling along with the
skirt. Occasionally, a blouse is seen to cover the upper part of the body.
The dress for
particular occasions is the special product of their loom. In these dresses, they use the
mixture of various colours, e.g. red, black, green, yellow are common. On special
occasions, a man wears a skirt (mibu galuk) over his usual dress and a dumer
(towel) is a must. Only few of them use Paguri (turban). The dresses on special
occasions are used in such a way, so that, a man will look like gam or leader.
The dress of the women is same as they use daily, but the dresses for festivals and
funcitons are more coloured and decorated. The plain dresses without colour and decoration
are generally not used in festivals and rituals. Women are fond of various types of
ornaments. Ear and neck ornaments (kentumaduli), chains (tadok),
different type of bracelets (konge) are very much common among the women.
All the dresses,
especially of the women, are the products of loom. The Mishing women are famous for
weaving in Assam. Few of their products, viz., gadu gasar, tapum gasar, dumer, mibu
galuk, shekreg, neshag ri:bi are worth mentioning. The women use two types of looms.
First is used like the Adis of Arunachal, one end fastened in a parallel bar (tututa)
and the other end fastened in the waist. This type of loom can easily be used wherever
they like in the cultivating field, inside the house as it is small and can be handled
easily. Some of the products of this type of loom are gadu, mibu galuk and sogon.
The other type is like the loom used by the non-tribal Assamese. Yarn for the loom is
generally brought from the market. But the Mishing women, as found in the field, grow at
least a little amount of cotton for their loom. This is done especially for gadu,
which is a prestigious product, and which is offered as gift by a mother to her newly
married son. Ginning and spinning is still done by the women themselves. The most striking
feature of the Mishing women is that their weaving products are with pattern and colour of