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Photo Essay

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.
Fishing nets put out to dry. The Misings are expert fishers.Photo: The Hindu
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Catching fish in a waterhole in Dhemaji district.
Catching fish in a waterhole in Dhemaji district.Photo: The Hindu
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A Mising woman tends to silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves, in Dhemaji district.
A Mising woman tends to silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves, in Dhemaji district.Photo: The Hindu
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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.
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.Photo: The Hindu
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A WOMAN   sifts crushed rice to prepare Apong, the traditional elixir of the Mising.
A WOMAN sifts crushed rice to prepare Apong, the traditional elixir of the Mising.Photo: The Hindu
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 dried chillies  are smoked in a traditional Mising kitchen.
dried chillies are smoked in a traditional Mising kitchen.Photo: The Hindu
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Pounding paddy  in a ‘kipar’, or wooden grinder.
Pounding paddy in a ‘kipar’, or wooden grinder.Photo: The Hindu
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Displaced Mising villagers  construct a house with strips of bamboo on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Majuli district.
Displaced Mising villagers construct a house with strips of bamboo on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Majuli district.Photo: The Hindu
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  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.
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.Photo: The Hindu
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T he catch of the day.  A Mising fisherman shows off an Ari, or long-whiskered catfish.
T he catch of the day. A Mising fisherman shows off an Ari, or long-whiskered catfish.Photo: The Hindu
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