The lifestyle of Apatani hilltribe of Arunachal Pradesh fascinates a cultural traveller on several aspects. But the one that hit me with the greatest intensity are the 2 tribal signatures of the tribe : face tattoos & nose plugs.\nGetting a first glimpse of these on the internet created a desire to go and see them in person.\u00a0 And so I set out on this logistically challenging trip in December to satisfy the frenzy created in my head with all the readings.\nI expected that seeing them and experiencing a spectrum of their lifestyle would quench my curiosity. But instead, it fuelled it. The reason for this unexpected reaction is the stark truth that was revealed as I spoke with the Apatanis \u2013 that their unique traditions are breathing their last breath.\nLegend has it that the women of this tribe used to be kidnapped by neighbouring tribes because of their beauty. To prevent this the tribe began to tattoo the faces of the girls and put on nose plugs \u2013 either to repel or to brand their own young girls.\nThis practice was abolished after soon after India\u2019s independence when the government provided security against kidnappings. As a result, no more faces have tattooed for the past 30 \u2013 35 years.The youngest tattooed face I saw was about 45.\nThe next generation of the world, therefore, will see a rainbow of human diversity that will be missing one color \u2013 a very unique and intense color.\nAnd the only glimpses available to the future will be through the few photographs taken since the camera was invented!\nHere I present a few:\n\nFace tattoo of an Apatani tribal woman from Arunachal Pradesh\n\n\n\nNose plugs of the Apatani Tribe \u2013 one more tribal signature\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nA village headman with a tattoo on his chin\n\n\nThe elegant and gorgeous Apatani woman with her signature beads\n\nA photo-lifescape of the Apatani tribe will follow soon\u2026\nThe images above are a small preview of the Hi-res full size images available on my photography website www.wovensouls.com.\nMy other articles on Arunachal Pradesh are linked below:\nGlimpses of a contented People\nHunter-Gatherer-Weavers\n\u00a0Innovative housing\n\u00a0A chance encounter with a Shaman Priest during a sacrifice ritual\nThe Gaanv Boodhas or Village Headmen of Arunachal Pradesh\nFierce Nocte Headhunters\nHead Hunting Trophies\njm\nJan 2012\nThe post Tribal Signatures \u2013 Face Tattoos of the Apatani tribe appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.