Nyokum Festival

Nyokum is a festival celebrated by the Nyishi tribe of the Arunachal Pradesh,The Word "Nyokum" has been derived from the combination of two words - "Nyok"means"land"(earth) and Kum means "collectiveness or togetherness"The Nyokum festivals may very well and be interpreted as inviting  the all the Gods and Goddesses of the universe, with the Nyokum Goddess as the principal deity,The festival is commonly celebrated by the Nishi tribe  from all the class and walk of life for better productivity, prosperity and happiness of all human beings on earth.

The festival is related to heritage culture. This festival welcoming all the God and Goddess to earth on particular place and time to seek their blessings.Nyishi community worships their Goddess "Nyokum" during the festival,Nyokum is a festival to worship the Goddess so they can harvest plenty of crops and the Goddess survive from floods or draughts.They pray to Goddess Nyokum that to save the crops from insects and animal and protect humans from accidents or mishaps.Faith of Nyishi tribe there are many deity and spirits on the earth and "Ui or Oram" Nyoko is the place for the life after the death.Nyishi tribe almost depends on farms and they get day to day income from harvested food grain.Nishi tribe believe that mountains, rivers, crops and other households all have deities and spirits.Some spirits are divine spirits and some are evil spirits. They believe that only God and Goddesses can bless their life with happiness, prosperity and peace and there should be always concord between human, God and nature. Draught, floods, earthquakes and unnatural deaths of human occur when God and Goddess of the nature get displeased. So,they always worship to propitiation the divine God and Goddess to protect from evil spirits so they can intact amity and gladness in life."Nyokum Yullow is one of the propitiations.Nyishi tribe don’t put idol in the worship instead they use bamboo pole as a prayer structure. The bamboo prayer structure is called Yugang".They keep sacrificial animals alongside Yugang.They use cows, goats and Mithuns as sacrificial animals.They often hang chickens on the bamboo pole which is called Yugang. Head priest or traditional priest is called "Nyubh" in Nyishi tribe.The priest declares numbers and types of animals to sacrifice and other thing to offers. Nishi tribe don’t use any permanent structure for worshipping instead they use millet seed’s beers and rice pastes.

They celebrate the festival in traditional way with cheer and merriment. They wear their conventional costumes and knick-knacks.The men wear traditional cotton robs which is called "eri robe".The eri robe drapes oneself from the shoulder to the thighs.They decorate their necks with beaded colorful necklaces and they use semi precious stones like Turquoise sometimes.They completes their attire by wearing a cap prepared from bamboo and they decorate the caps by feathers and furs of wild animals.Their favorite ornament is the beak of Hornbill so they stud it on the traditional caps. Women also dress the attire in the traditional costumes named "par ej".Women wear ornaments like beaded necklaces, earrings and headgear made from finely scraped bamboos.

Nishi tribe get entertainment on Nyokum festivals by singing and dancing before the traditional head priest arrives to perform rituals and People welcome guests by rice paste powders. They serve millet seed beer called "opo".They serve the "opo" in dried guard ladles to the guests.They sing and dance in groups. Men and women held each other’s hand and make a circle.They dance and sing “Nyokum bo tapa debe”. Sometimes mens are performs the mock fighting in form of dance.They use "dao" means short "swords" and shields made from animals hide in the dance.

Nyokum festival is colorful festival of Nyishi community of Arunachal Pradesh. Nyokum festival shows unity and harmony of Nyishi tribe and displays their unique heritage culture.Nyokum festival is celebrated almost month of february every year with great enthusiasm.