After all the nagging, crazy running-around and all the stress we have finally got on the road... Mare Lakovič, together we already made 2 trips on terrain-vehicles through the wild Ethiopia, his Ksenija and the photographer Katja Bidovec, my steady support on all of my undertakings when it comes to current high-demand photography projects. Our mission was to kind of continue our big project Vanishing cultures. We have already, in that project, documented the Ethiopian cultures living on the Omo riversides, the goal of this travel was therefore to visit these new amazing ethnical groups living on the far-outs of the Indian federal state Arunachal Pradesh. I can surely say that this part of India has nothing in common with the true India we all know. But really, absolutely nothing in common! A different climate, different vegetation, different light – and of course very different people. These outskirts are more like the ones in Bhutan or some hidden corners of Nepal, than the country which I know very well for about 27 years now, though my countless travels there.
In Arunachal live about 100 different ethnical tribes, and the impassable mountain areas of the foothills of the Himalayas made sure, that like in Papua New Guinea, these tribes in the hundreds years of their existence couldn’t mix with each other at all. Just the opposite happened; these tribes are the fiercest enemies and each of them speaks exclusively their own language. Even bounty hunters were a huge thing a few decades back. Actually this shouldn’t be a too far-off idea, because even we, the Slovene people, hate each and everybody that doesn’t live in the commodities of our only and true traditional valleys, which are the best there are and that’s final.
After the 9-hour waiting for the transit flight in Delhi, to the almost Burman standing town of Dibrugarh, we saw that there wasn’t going to be a really big number of foreigners there at all. Except for 2 very strange-looking businessmen (who could have also easily been some ultra-right-standing Russian mafia!) we were the only white people on a fully boarded plane. I guess they didn’t hear of tourism in these parts yet, but that is also because you need a special permit from the ministry of internal affairs, which turns back much more people from entering these parts of the land than actually letting them visit...
In Dibrugarh everything went according to plan. And I mean those plans that were forged in Europe and not those who you adapt to in India, where nothing happens if you don’t either threaten, barb or scare somebody to do something. To keep matters straight; the very next morning we were sitting in a Jeep, which wasn’t a real modern 4x4-technology car, but we believed that maybe it would not fall apart during the trip, which we envisioned. Well it did fall apart; but I won’t lose precious time with this tale. First, we sailed with the local ferry across the vast river Brahmaputra to the town Itanagar, where we started our ascent through the mountains. There we had to fit, in our already too cramped and fully loaded Jeep, a local guide and we soon saw that that was a very good decision we made. He spoke quite a few local languages and when we had to organize sleeping, photographing or ordering food in some hut in the middle of nowhere, he was the one we could count on. Soon the more serious photography work started and together with Katja, we made our first steps into building our new photography studio, this time a bit more serious that the one in Ethiopia. (End of Part 1, Part 2 next Friday)
Tribe Adi Minjong
Tribe Adi Galong
My life-motto is “You can sleep when you’re dead!” and I stick to it every day in my life! I worked with the Company “Our Space appliances” for many years now, and together we have prepared numerous successful events, lectures and team-building articles for you to enjoy and read. The best part of it all is when Jure (the CEO of Our Space appliances) comes to visit my family and me at the seaside and together we can grill a tasty fish or 2. That’s when life becomes even better…