Till 1914, East Kameng was part of Darang District of Assam. By Govt. of India’s notification of 1914, the area covered by this district became part of the western Section of the North east Frontier Tract. This tract was renamed in 1919 as Balipara Tract with its headquarter at Charduar, Assam. In 1946 the area covered by Balipara Tract was divided into Sela Agency and Subansiri Area and the hqr. continued to be at Charduar. In 1954, Sela Agency was renamed as the Kameng Frontier Division with its hqr at Bomdila. In 1965 Kameng Frontier was renamed Kameng District. In 1980, the district was bifurcated into two districts namely East Kameng (Formerly known as Sepla Subdivision) and West Kameng (formerly known as Bomdila subdivison). Now it has become an independent district with its hqr at Seppa (Till 1975, Seppa was Sapla meaning marshy land in local dialect). The name Kameng has been derived from the Kameng river originating from the glacier lake below Gorichan mountain and is one of the tributaries of River Brahmaputra.
The entire district, except a small area on the southern most tip bordering Assam, is mountainous.
Geography :- Location and Physical Features
East Kameng district is situated in the Western part of Arunachal Pradesh surrounded by West Kameng in the west, Papumpare in the East, Part of Lower Subansiri and Macmohan (International Boundary) line in the North and Sonitpur District of Assam in the South covering an area of 4134 sq kms. The entire district barring a small area on the southernmost tip of Assam is mountainous. The deep gorges and narrow valleys frequently open into wide valleys. The district is an extension part of the North eastward Himalayan range. It lies between 92° 36″ E to 93° 24″ E longitudes and 26° 56″ to 27° 59″ Latitudes. The District Hqr, Seppa lies on the bank of River Kameng. Important tributaries of river Kameng which are turbulent and high speed rivers are Para, Pachi, Pachok, Pakoti, Keya Bichom, Pacha, Pakke, Papu, Passa, Narmorah and Dikalmukh.
The rugged terrains of the district make transport and communication extremely difficult. There are few surface roads, which remain cutoff during summer seasons due to flood and landslide.
The climatic condition of this district varies largely with topography and altitude. The altitude of different administrative centres varies ranging from 362 m to 1906 m. The foothill zone is subtropical and has hot and humid climate. Average temperature decreases as elevations increase in the mountains. The district experiences heavy rainfall averaging 287 mm falling mostly between June and October and in winter extreme cold. As a result of heavy rainfall during monsoon season, most of the rivers and streams are highly inflated and disrupt normal transport system and communication. Although heavy monsoon helps regeneration of forests, it is also responsible for speedy soil erosion and landslides which make the maintenance of roads quite costly. Many developing activities are held up during the monsoons. The months from October to March are the most favourable time for intensive work for development.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE (LANGUAGE & ART FORMS ETC)
The Major tribes inhabiting this district are Bangnis(Nyishi), Akas, Mijis and Puroiks (Sulung). Each tribe has their own dialects, customs, and religion. Social and cultural events are very much associated with their life, environment and other relevant activities.
The Bangnis also called Nishi, Nishang, Nissi or Dafla and Sullungs inhabit the area contagious to the North Earstern Kameng extending upto Lower Subansiri District. The Akas inhibit the Bana Area and Mijis inhibit to the region eastern of West Kameng District i.e., Lada Circle.
The Marriage of the Bangnis takes place through the process of formal negotiations between the parents of both parties. After a stipulated bride price payment, the girl comes to live with the husband. There are no formal ceremonies which mark the consummation of marriage. The husband and the wife both clad in clothes and wear a number of ornaments. Polygamy is very common.
The Sulungs (Puroiks) are a very scattered tribe. The Sulung society is based on the unit of village community. The Sulungs own land but in some cases they are dependent upon their Bangni Master.
The Festival of the Bangnis is Nyokum Yullo which is celebrated in the month of February. The local priest (Nibu) does the devination by examining the liver of a fowl and the yolk of an egg respectively. The site where the festival is performed is called Nyokum Kyageng. The Sulungs celebrate Gumkum Gumpa in the month of April.
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