Living on the edge

They are river people, whose lives ebb and flow with the waters of the Brahmaputra in a timeless rhythm. But now, hydroelectric projects and homogenising exercises raise uneasy questions in the Mising tribe about notions of ‘belonging’.

Fishing nets put out to dry. The Misings are expert fishers.


Catching fish in a waterhole in Dhemaji district.

A Mising woman tends to silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves, in Dhemaji district.

The Misings have a rich tradition of weaving. Seen here, preparing yarn for the loom, in Bokakhat district. Living in flood-prone areas of Assam with no other sustenance options, the Mising women have upgraded their traditional weaving skills and adapted to the needs of the market.

A WOMAN sifts crushed rice to prepare Apong, the traditional elixir of the Mising.

dried chillies are smoked in a traditional Mising kitchen.

Pounding paddy in a ‘kipar’, or wooden grinder.

Displaced Mising villagers construct a house with strips of bamboo on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Majuli district.

A villager in Bokakhat district indicates the level to which floodwaters rose in 2021. The Mising live in houses built on stilts, to cope with frequent floods.

T he catch of the day. A Mising fisherman shows off an Ari, or long-whiskered catfish.

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Fishing nets put out to dry. The Misings are expert fishers.
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