Arunachal Pradesh in North East India .
It is the planting period for rice paddies. I was lucky to be there for the 2 weeks of planting and manage to walk around the huge paddyfield of ziro valley. It consist of 7 villages sharing the valley. Beautiful ladies and very friendly, sharing their rice beer, call ‘O’ and their precious rice and food with me.
What I got from this all, is how hardwork growing rice is. Just missed the pre harvest festival call Myoko in the month of March. The weather in Ziro valley climate wise, is average 18-20oC. Cool, and bug free unlike the rest of the plains of Arunchal Pradesh where mosquitos and other bugs rule.
About the Tattoo and nose plugs, it came about when another tribe, call Nishi were taking Apantani women as brides because of their reknown beauty. Indeed most of the young women I have come across are pretty good looking with fair complexion.
The Apantani women (above 50 years or older) wore tattoo and nose plugs at the age of 8 or pre-puberty age to prevent the warning Nishi tribe from taking them. This practice was stopped around 1980s when a compaign organised by student unions called for a ban in such practice.
ED : Apantani women wear nose plugs made of charred bamboo.
Their local religion is call Doni-polo which is shared with other tribes like Adi, Nishi as well.