Ali Aye Ligang festival
Ali Aye Ligang is the Spring festival of the Mishing or Mising community. It is associated with agriculture. The festival marks the commencement of the Ahu (paddy) cultivation.
The Mising or Mishing is an indigenous tribe of the two Indian States of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The community is also found in the southern part of China.
The Spring festival of Alu Ai Ligang marks the onset of sowing seeds.
The Mising term of Ali Ai Ligang comprises three terms, ‘Ali’ connoting legumes, ‘Aye’ (seed), and ‘Ligang’ (to sow).
Ali Aye Ligang of the Mishing community is held on the first Wednesday of the Mising lunar month of ‘Gimur Polo’
This annual Spring festival of the Mising youth young people of the community participate in the ‘GUMRAAG SOMAN’. They dance to folk songs and the melodies of ‘Oi: nitom’.
On the maiden day, the festival commences with the ceremonial act of paddy sowing. Throughout the festival, several agricultural activities like tree cutting and ploughing are banned.
DANCE AND SONGS
The varied themes of Ali Aye Ligang songs ‘Oi’ not remain restricted to the songs of youth alone. The subjects and themes consist of a mana lifespan, life sufferings and his demise.
The songs relate an individual’s love, affection, pain, and elation of a person’s daily life.
The Ali Ai Ligang traditional musical instruments for these festivals consist of the Mishing drum (dhul), cymbals (taal), gagana, and gong.
The dance forms of the Ali Ai Ligang performed by the Mising community is popularly known as Gumrag.
The Gumrag dance commences from the village house located at the easternmost location. The house should extend towards the river and the agricultural field. The Ali Ai Ligang dance encircles the house courtyard of the peasants.