Maye: An Endangered Agricultural Ritual Practice of the Tangam (Adi) Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India

One of the most fertile areas of modern cultural research is the study of Rituals performed by indigenous communities. Rituals maintain and preserve the cultural identity of a society, especially, in preliterate oral tribal societies of the world. In such communities, Agriculture and Religion are intrinsically linked to the socio-religious sphere of their life. Their survival is solely based on human-nature dynamics. Such communities practice nature-worshipping and believe in the interconnectivity of the physical and supernatural worlds. Hence, they perform many rituals to appease the malevolent and to express gratitude to benevolent supernatural beings, deities, and spirits. Tangams are one such animist community that is the least populated and lesser-known ethnolinguistic group of Arunachal Pradesh. Their everyday life is based on the performance of several rites and rituals. These ritual performances are part of their cultural heritage. However, such practices are slowly in decline due to various internal and external factors. Therefore, this paper is a descriptive attempt to document, elucidate, preserve, and disseminate the dying Maye ritual practice and its associated belief systems.