Monday, November 23, 2009

Books on Singpho and Tai-Phake Community

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Show Reel

Friday, March 6, 2009

Visual Library

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Genesis of FCRC

FCRC has dedicated members form the North-Eastern part of India persevering to preserve the undocumented and un-archived cultures
of different small and big communities settled in this virgin land. In
all the researches done by the Centre, it was very encouraging to
witness the un-polluted cultural symbols of life-style, songs, rituals
et all. These communities were on the verge of losing their identity
from the hegemony of either pervading mechanisation of urban life
or dominant culture of an adjacent bigger community. Interestingly,
there was still no greater influence seen either culturally or theologically
upon some of the tribal communities in the North-Eastern part of India,
period. FCRC has therefore, to retain an archival testimony to such diverse through video and audio documentation. In addition to it,
thoroughly researched publication work has been carried on by the
Centre covering their ethnic culture, language and literature. The
Centre’s aim is to “bring into the mind of people a comparative and
integrated religious and cultural consciousness and establish a solid
foundation for an actual cosmopolitan society” (part “d” of Preamble,
FCRC of North-East of India)

FCRC has audio documented different songs and hymns of the different communities of the tribes of the North Eastern States of India. It is an effort to help those communities to preserve their heritage who folk-lore
exist more in the vocal than written forms.

The video section has a rich collection of the various footage capturing
the various small, but richly cultured communities of the land. For instance the “Tai-Phake” community of Assam, one of the sub clan of
of the “Tai” community who are said to have been migrated from Thai-
land. Their different lifestyle blending with their Buddhist philosophy
and their ability to withstand the onslaught of crass modernity or
dominant religion like Christianity or Hinduism.

All these audio and visual aspects have been given a research-based
manifestation in the literary works produced by the Centre. The
recently released published work drafts the same of the different
communities like “Tai-Phake”, “Singpho”, “Sonowal-Kachari” etc.
In addition to that a detailed book has been worked upon traditional
“tribal-medicine” of different 11 tribes inhabiting in Assam. This
has been done to shed light on the usability and practised medicinal
forms in these tribes mostly regarded as a taboo by modern media
and as propagated by the corporate-allopathic lobby. Other than that
an interesting project of collecting of about 100 tribal folk tales of
Assam has been carried forward.

In some projects in the pipe-line a major work manifesting in an
encyclopaedia upon the major tribes of Assam has been planned out.

FCRC has realised the fear shared by many sociologist-anthropologist
that many such mentioned communities are slowly on the verge of extinct
or already are extinct. In interaction with members of the community
it was a sad aspect to realise that the isolation and the “looked-down-upon” attitude of the majority communities has even created an inner
centrifugal force within the communities where the new generations
has withdrew from the existing practices of lore and norms. To provide
a solution for this double-edged social ailment, FCRC has solemnly
resolved to work in the afore-mentioned processes and help other
individuals and centres to do so.

View our collection of footage at,,

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Northeast India is an ideal rendezvous of exquisite tribal culture, people, customs, life style and history of mutual co-existence. Historically being a tribal land, Assam is no expection. In the context of todays globalised modern world and resultant religious and cultural conversion, these communities and their indeginious culture undergo massive transfomations and some of them are on the verge of extinction. Though Government endeavours to put effort on preservation, it seems there are lack of seriousness and sensitivity on government initiatives. In an historic effort to preserve and promote tribal folk culture, publish tribal folk literature in a systematic manner and make people aware about small tribal groups,their culture,lifestyle and ensuing problems of these groups, North East Folk Culture Research Centre came into existence with a host of programmes. The research centre is a principal wing of AARHI – an NGO working in the field of education, child development and research oriented programmes on tribal culture all across Assam. AARHI is a first of its kind in Assam working on the field of research. Its chief archtitects are - Hemanta Kumar Saikia, Peim Thi Gohain, Rajib Ninkhi, Tonko Konwar etc. Their range of current and future work plan include preservation through Visual Media - Audio - Video , documentary film on distinct tribal cultures, publications of tribal folk culture, organizing workshops and fellowship programmes. Its recent praiseworthy attempt is the ongoing project of publishing two comprehensive books on two distinct tribes of Assam - Tai-Phake - Jeevan Aru Sanskriti by Paim Thi Gohain and Singpho –Jeevan Aru Sangram by Rajib Ninkhi. Second one is about the Singpho community
y which is pioneer in tea cultivation of Assam. Its a very rare, hardly seen efforts on the part of non-governmental organisations as sans any substantial funds form any governmental or any other agencies. Both the communities have paramount significance in the history of Assam and have a number of scope for research. To give effect to capture foklore on reel as part of their visual media plan, FCRCNEI is doing a documenatry on Tai phake community’s traditional life style for which the shoot is going on in Tai villages. Talking to NEV, Hemanta kumar Saikia of FCRCNEI is vey much sceptical of governments and intelluctuals on tribal people. He says that people do visit Tai Phake and other tribal villages as tourists and enjoy their traditional life style and foods. But no body cares about their development and preservation of their exotic practices. Moreover, FCRCNEI will also provide research facilities on tribal culture and make arrangements for lodging facilities at tribal villages for interested people from anywhere of the world. This will definitely enhance the prospect of broadening the research scope in outside of India.
A brief vignette of Tai Phake and Singpho community are given below Tai-Phake community is the only tribal community among Tai Mongoloid group in Assam still speaking the Tai language as their mother tong inhabiting at Namphake, Tipamphake village of Dibrugarh district, Borphake Monglong, Ningam, Longgao of Tinsukia district in Assam and Tirap and Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh. The community is small in terms of population. Their living style have much of traditional touch, as still live in chang-ghar. They wear colorful hand woven dresses full of tribal artistry. They have a unique system of producing natural colours using leaves and roots of plants etc. Their dresses are called Fa- Mai, Hu- Sin etc. They are very paricular for their food .Tai-Phake delicious cuisine is the boiled rice packed on wild leaves (ko-pat).They practise a scientific method for preserving food whcih they call Nong-Chung, Pa-chung (fish-meat with sour fruits) for 20-25 days.Tai-phake are Buddhists by religion.Their folk dances include Ka-Pai, ka-pun”(welcome dance), “ka-phi (demon dance) etc. Singphos are known as the pioneer in discovering tea in Assam in British India. Singpho tribe lives in the hilly Changlong and Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh and Tinsukia District of Assam.They migrated from Kachin, a region of upper Burma.They have similarities with other tribes like Jingpaw, Chingpaw, Theinbow, Kakhieng-kachin, Ye Jan.etc.Their language Singpho is in fact, the lingua franca among the Kachins tribal group like Zi, Lisaw, Maru, Lashi and Nungs.Moreover, Singpho language shares similarity with Tibetan languages as well. A tribe almost entirely depending on agriculture, tea plantation is their traditional agricultural activity.They professionally cultivate rice, rubber,soya etc. Due to constant warfare, they live mostly on hillside, however, now they are living in plain as well.Baka (mans wear), Bukang (womens wear), Bathang (women wear) are the dresses of the Singphos. Shapawng Yawng Manu Poi is the national festival of singphos held in the month of February.