Saturday, 21 March 2009

British Museum: Between Assam & Tibet


I neglected to mention that during my visit to the British Museum a few weeks ago, I dropped by its exhibit Between Assam & Tibet, which displayed a collection of cultural artifacts and photographs of two tribes from the remote Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Apatani and the Monpa.

The Apatani live in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, and are animists. Their economy depends on growing rice in a unique way which maximizes the yield in their enclosed upland valley. The Monpa live on the Bhutan-Tibet-India border at high altitude. They are ethnically different from the Apatani and are Buddhists, in the past more closely linked to Lhasa in Tibet, than India to the south.

The photographs are by Michael Aram Tarr, an anthropologist and photographer, who has just spent the last five years living and working in Arunachal Pradesh, which is still pretty much an isolated region.

An interesting interview with Michael is here.

Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are regions of India which I haven't seen yet, and I wonder whether 2010 will see me leading a photo-expedition there.