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Tanu in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
52,000 Apatani Unknown 21.66 % Unknown No No   

Tanu in India

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Introduction / History
The Apatani (or Tanu, as they describe themselves) are a well-known tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Their society is made up of several clans: Dani, Dora, Dumper, Dusu, Haj, Hidi, Kago, Kimte, Miri, Nada, Nemko, Nemp, Nendin, Pemu, Plangang, Puna, Pura, Taku, Taro and Taru. These clans are divided up into two endogamous units. Traditionally, the clans of the Mora or Guchi division perform services for the clans of the Mith or Guth division.

Europeans first contacted the group in 1897. After subsequent contacts and construction of an outpost by the Assam Rifles in 1948, the Apatanis attacked. Two of their villages were burnt in retaliation.

Where are they located?
They live in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.

What are their lives like?
The Apatani are known for their use of large nose plugs by the women, although that practice is in decline, especially among the youth. The women were considered to be the most beautiful ones among all the Arunachal tribes. Men and women alike tattoo their faces, although this too is falling out of popularity. They are beginning to follow more modern traditions now, yet much remains intact of their customs.

They live in bamboo houses on stilts. The women cultivate vegetables and do many household chores as well as spinning cotton and weaving. Men also have a part in overseeing the agricultural aspect of the village and are seen as heads of their families. Their wet rice fields are irrigated using an effective system of canals.

A sacred pole and a sacred platform are constructed every four years and used for festivals and community events. They celebrate the festival of Myoko in March and the festival of Murung in January. Another very important festival, called Dree, is celebrated in many towns in Arunachal Pradesh.

What are their beliefs?
The Apatani follow the Donyi-Polo or Danyi-Piilo faith. They venerate the sun and the moon. They also believe in evil spirits who are to be appeased with animal sacrifices accompanied by chants lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999

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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:52,000
Largest States:
Arunachal Pradesh (52,000)Assam (100)
Mizoram (60)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Tanu
People Name General: Tanu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 111338
Joshua Project People ID: 16225
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 52,000
Population all Countries: 52,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Tanu
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Apatani (44,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): apt    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Nyishi (90)Adi (40)
Assamese (Unknown)Naga, Tangshang: Tangsa (Unknown)
Total Languages: 5
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Unknown
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.17 % 
Christianity21.66 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism6.01 % 
Islam0.25 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.02 % 
Unknown71.88 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
Text / Printed MatterBible: Apatani
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Apatani
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tanu in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Tribal - other     Asia, South    
      Tanu India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tanu in India          
      Religion Language  
      Unknown     Apatani  
    All Religions                              

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