Upper Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Project: Food-making process from TATCHI (tree fern)
In the Milang-speaking area, two very important pre-grain crops have been maintained: tree fern (Cyathea spp.) and sago palm, both of which have traditionally made a significant contribution to Milang peoples’ diets. However, with the increasing availability of rice, usage of tree fern and sago palm has diminished significantly. Today, only in the village of Peki Modi is tree fern used to extract starch for human consumption, while the sago palm is used as fodder for pigs. In this project, Abraham Modi who is himself a native of Peki Modi village, has produced an elaborate audio-visual documentation of each stage of the lengthy processes that are involved in extracting starch from tree fern and sago palm. In the process, he has documented numerous traditional tools, techniques, vocabulary, and histories associated with these important aspects of village economy, and has also managed to document other aspects of traditional village economy such as yeast preparation. A subset of the texts are currently being transcribed and translated.