Changing Identity, Livelihood and Biodiversity of Indigenous Communities in the Eastern Himalaya with Special Reference to Aka Tribe

  • Gibji NimasowEmail author
  • R. C. Joshi
Part of the Perspectives on Geographical Marginality book series (PGEO)


The state of Arunachal Pradesh lies in the Eastern Himalaya . It is inhabited by about 25 major tribes and numerous sub-tribes with different culture and tradition. Each tribe or sub-tribe had evolved their own way of living, belief, faith, folklores and festivities. The important tribes and sub-tribes are Adi, Aka , Apatani, Khowa/Bugun , Galo , Hill Miri , Khamba , Khamiyong , Khampti , Lisu /Yobin, Memba , Miji /Sajolang, Mishmis , Monpa , Nah , Nocte , Nyishi , Sherdukpen , Singpho, Sulung /Puroik , Tagin, Tangsa , Tutsa , Wancho , and Zakhring . Besides, the above mentioned tribal groups of Arunachal Pradesh, there are other smaller tribal groups such as Adi Somoa, Pangchenpa, Mikir, Mishing, Deuri, etc. Some of them are still not recognized and some of them have not been given the status of ‘tribal’ in the state. So, it is a situation of great diversity in respect of culture and tradition. These tribes had responded very fast to globalization which is having a remarkable influence on their culture and tradition. The present discourse is focused especially on a small tribal group inhabiting the southeastern parts of West and East Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh popularly known as Aka. They are divided into two sub-tribes namely the Hrusso and Koro . They have no script of their own and speak the Aka dialect, which is grouped under the Tibeto-Burman family of language . A detailed survey using structured questionnaire has been conducted during 2008 to analyze the changing identity, livelihood and biodiversity of the Aka tribes. The society, economy and culture of tribe have undergone number of changes while trying to accommodate with the pace of globalization. The paper attempts to analyze the change and continuity of identity, livelihood pattern and biodiversity of the Aka tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in the light of globalization.


Identity Livelihood Biodiversity The Eastern Himalaya Globalisation Aka tribes 



The authors are thankful to the Rajiv Gandhi University, Rono Hills Itanagar for providing basic facilities for carrying out their research. The authors also acknowledge the grant received from Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi in the form of a major research project. Here presented chapter is a piecemeal work from the findings and analysis of the project.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyRajiv Gandhi UniversityItanagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyKumaun UniversityNainitalIndia

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