If you are on a tribal expedition, seldom will you have any time lying back on your sofa in a cozy hotel room.You will be probably happily compelled to go on a constant hunt salvaging information about tribal lifestyle; a lifestyle guided and governed by a closely knit social structure which is obscure from the civilized world.To start with the exploration of housing and plan on dwelling architecture you can spend a couple of days studying art,design and engineering that goes into the construction philosophy.
Tribal villages are a cluster of marvel, a dream put to reality. The basic raw materials come from the forests lying on the fringes. Bamboos, long bladed grasses, and a variety of woods grow inabundance. If you watch closely, you will find the security aspect has been put on top priority list.The jungles starting at the periphery are infested with predatory wildlife. There is a threat from the rival tribes as well. A sort of high wall fencing around the village protects the inmates. Of course, there are instances of failure when the security wall collapses and a bloodbath ensues.
Sometimes at the outpost, a cubicle sort of structure is erected on high wooden post. The tribal village guard keeps a vigilfrom this inspection point. In tribal villages of East Africa, an apparently impenetrable thorn fence called ‘Boma’is built to block the entry of man-eating lions. Still there are hair-raising instances of poor inmates beingdragged and bruised across the ‘Boma’ that ended up as a dinner for the beast.
You will certainly find these structures fascinating and your camera shutter clicking at a random pace. Then there are villages where a separate community living room is constructed. The idea is to house an able-bodied bachelorarmy of young men who would stand guard at the very entry point to the tribal settlement.
This architectural philosophy is prevalent among the Naga villages of North East India and among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh located in the same region a little up north. These bachelor houses are called Morung. The more you see the more you are enthralled. Don’tbe surprised to findyourself busy and active throughout the day exploring and rummaging through every corner of the labyrinth of a tribal village.
Your activities would know no limit once you embark upon a tribal country. You can spend productive time just watching the growth of tribal craft. You can actually participate in sharing a value adding experience in tribal craftsmanship.Tattoo cult is an arresting chapter in tribal art and culture. This is widespread across the globe. Tattoos must have a powerful impact on tribal belief system.You can have your arm tattooed under a tribal needle. Just watch the patience with which the tattoo artist engraves the wonderful pattern. It is a work of art that deserves a permanent capture on your body.
Shopping exquisite tribal crafts would occupy a major part of your activities in a tribal country.There is a large inventory to choose form.Once you are honest in your approach and open in your attitude you may get an entry into their society.Before that, winning their trust is important. You can follow them into the depths of the jungle.Their hunting expeditions are a big treat for an exciting experience. You may become a part of their hunting team.
If your participation is approved, the next thing you make sure is to wear knee length tough leather boots. These arecustom designed for an expedition into the bush.Watching the entire tribal hunting troop in action is a life time experience.
If permitted by the tribal chief, not taking your camera would be a blunder. You follow the trail and watch them mimic bird calls. It is exciting to watch them as they scan bushes for birds and animals with their laser eyesight trained over years in jungle expedition.
Equally exciting would be their hunting and fishing tools! Weapons cover a wide range of tools of myriad shapes and sizes. Bows and arrows,spears,machetes and sling shots are common hunting crafts.The striking weapons are in some cases exotic. Blowpipe is one classic example. A long hollow pipe with a poison tipped dart inside is aimed and blown at the target which is usually a bird or an animal hunted for food.
The darts are usually dipped in curare,spider venom or other poisonous plant extracts. The toxin is lethal and acts fast on the blood stream. The victim collapses. Use of blowpipe is rampant in Borneo among the Amazon tribes and in Papua New Guinea.You can try your hand on these indigenous weapons and see if you can bring down a jungle fowl for dinner. It will be a riot of wild buzz.The mere sight of a game and the outburst of excitement among tribal folk around it would shoot your adrenaline level high up.
Attending and participating in rituals, feasts and ceremonies is an interesting activity. Local liquoris brewed in community breweries. They may be prepared in every household and possibly very strong. A sip may send you to cloud nine, and the festivals aregenerally open for all to participate. Theyare usually organized under a moonlit romantic sky. You ought to savor the enigmatic ambiance.The booze and food have its toll on the congregation of which you are a part as well. The euphoria reaches a heightened crescendo.Just observing tribal chores from close quarters is a fascinating study to put down on your diary.
You may try and learn a bit of their language and the script if any they have one. The script may be in hieroglyphic form. More emphasis is put on drawings than on actual letters.It must be a workable and effective media of communication. Feelings and general observations are conveyed through these apparently incomprehensive scribbles, which you might decode with a little honest effort and interest. Remember these hieroglyphs run their society and must have enough inputs to keep you occupied.