Arunachal Pradesh’s East Siang Ato-Dorne Farmers’ Association in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, National Research Centre on Mithun, Nagaland, organised a Mithun Mela at Mirem village under Bilat circle in East Siang district on Friday.
The Mithun Mela was attended by MLA Ninong Ering as chief guest, Prof Dr BN Hazarika, Dean, College of Horticulture & Forestry, Pasighat as a guest of honour, Tayi Taggu and Deputy Commissioner of East Siang district as special guest.
The National Research Centre on Mithun was established at Jharnapani, Dimapur, Nagaland under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
The Mithun mela aimed to upgrade the standard of mithun rearing in East Siang district by adopting modern-day scientific treatment of foot and mouth diseases and others including geo-tagging and community fencing of the animal.
It is to be mentioned that more than 60 mithuns participated in the Mithun show where winners were awarded Rs 10,000 each by ICAR-NRC, Nagaland.
Mithuns are essentially inhabitants of hill-forests. In India, semi-domesticated Mithuns are kept by several ethnic groups living in the hills of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. They also occur in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
In Nagaland, the animals are kept semi-wild, and live in herds, being watched over by special caretakers assigned by the villages or the owner of the herd. They respond to a horn kept specially for the individual caretaker or actual owner to call them. From birth until the time of butchering or market, the Mithun remain in the herd, and roam mostly freely throughout the forests.
To the people of Arunachal Pradesh the possession of Mithun is the traditional measure of a family’s wealth. They are not milked or put to work but given supplementary care while grazing in the woods, until they are ritually slaughtered or killed for local consumption. Mithuns are wild and each family has a very indigenous marking as a cut on the ear.
The Mithun is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. They play an important role in the social life of the people in Arunachal Pradesh. Marriages are not fixed until the bridegroom’s family gives at least one Mithun to the bride’s household.
Mithuns are left in the forest, where they usually stay within a small perimeter. Females are usually aggressive when with calves, and there are instances known when people have been severely injured after being gored by one. Males are usually more docile.
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