Apatani boy dancing during a ritual

Material Information

Apatani boy dancing during a ritual
Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph von, 1909-1995 ( Photographer )
Furer-Haimendorf, Christoph von, 1909-1995 ( contributor )
Haimendorf, Christoph Von Fürer- (1909-1995); anthropologist ( contributor )
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:
Photographic film: 35mm B&W negative, Eastman Kodak ( medium )


Subjects / Keywords:
Ropi ritual
Dancing ( lcsh )
रोपी अनुष्ठान
Apatani (Indic people) ( LCSH )
एशिया -- भारत -- अरुणाचल प्रदेश -- निचली सुबनसिरी जिला -- अपतानी नदी घाटी
Apatani ( ethnicity )
अपतानी जनजाति ( ethnicity )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- India -- Arunachal Pradesh -- Lower Subansiri District -- Bulla -- Apatani River valley
27.597194 x 93.839446


This Apatani boy, holding aloft his machete, is dancing near a ritual hut nago, on the right, : He wears a man's shoulder armour, made of sago palm : this ritual, known as ropi, was performed in the context of an ongoing dispute with a neighbouring tribe : Six months earlier, an Apatani man had been captured while hunting near a Hill Miri village and was held for three months : He escaped and took his revenge by killing a woman relative of his captors and cutting off her hand : He then brought her hand back to his village as a trophy, where it was kept in a ritual hut : On the third day, this ropi was performed in which the dead woman's spirit and those of her ancestors were placated with offerings of goat meat and rice-beer : Fürer-Haimendorf described the scene he photographed: 'the offerings of food and rice-beer placed on the altar; the men and boys…had danced most of the night; and early in the morning the hand had been taken out of the nago ritual hut :, covered with pigs' fat and then burnt to ashes in the fire which we still saw smouldering.' While this ritual is no longer celebrated for human deaths, it is still performed for the killing of certain animals esp : jungle cats, : apatanis believe that these animals have close genealogical links with humans : as with humans, the ritual is intended to prevent retaliation by the victim's spirit or descendants. ( en )
General Note:
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General Note:
Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf (1909-1995) was born and educated in Vienna, gaining a PhD in anthropology from the University of Vienna in 1931. A grant from the Rockefeller Foundation enabled him to study at the London School of Economics, under the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. In 1936, he went to the Naga Hills in northeast India for his first fieldwork; over the next four decades, he worked extensively in south & central India, northeast India and Nepal. In 1950 he was appointed Professor of Anthropology at SOAS, where he established the Department of Anthropology. During his career, he published seventeen books, most of them ethnographies of tribal cultures. He was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1975-77) and a pioneer in the field of visual anthropology.
General Note:
This scene was photographed on or approximate to 19440322
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Other designation of photograph: 156/20/blank
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Original Container: BW Negatives Box III
General Note:
For descriptive reference, see: Fürer-Haimendorf, Christophe von. 1955. : 47, Diary p. 9
General Note:
Haimendorf's reference: 156_20_blank
General Note:
Ropi is an Apatani ritual in which men imitate warriors. This ritual is performed in order to prevent retaliation by the soul of one's dead enemy and his ancestors.
General Note:
BW Negatives Box III
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Funded in the United Kingdom by JISC
General Note:
SOAS name authority for "Haimendorf, Christoph Von Fürer- (1909-1995); anthropologist" is GB/NNAF/P146323.
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph von, 1909-1995 : record number 109123273

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
© 1944, The Estate of Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. The Estate is currently (2015) represented by Nicholas Haimendorf, son of Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. ----- Creative Commons (by-nc-nd). -- This image may be used in accord with Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.
Resource Identifier:
PP MS 19/6/APA/0050 ( SOAS manuscript number )
156_20_blank ( Haimendorf reference )