Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Monday launched a book titled “The Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study of the Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh” in Itanagar.

Based on the Tangams, a critically endangered speech community of Kugging village in the state’s Upper Siang district, the book is published by the Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL), Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) and Himalayan Publishers, New Delhi.

Tangams are one of the lesser-known ethnolinguistic groups within the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the CFEL field survey 2016, the total population of the Tangam community is only 253 and resides only in one village.

The outcome of the study is presented in the chapters which contain study on Tangam language intending to give crucial insights into the knowledge of language structures within the Tani group of languages.

The chapters also contain valuable primary data on endangered oral narratives like ritual songs, lamentation songs, lullaby and festival songs and cultural practices like social life, political life, religion and belief systems.

The book will be useful not only to the future generations of the Tangam community and linguists along with anthropologists but also to educators and policymakers.

While CFEL, RGU coordinator Prof S Simon John executive editor of the book, the co-authors of are Kaling Dabi, Kombong Darang, Rejhoney Borang, Chera Devi, Rumi Deuri and it is jointly edited by Lisa Lomdak and Rejhoney Borang.

The Centre for Endangered Languages is a University Grant Commission sponsored centre.

The Centre has been actively functioning since 2016. The main purpose of CFEL, RGU is its multidisciplinary approach.

The research team comprises scholars from linguistics, anthropology, folklore, tribal studies and mass communication.

Presently, the Centre is focusing on field survey, documentation, outreach programmes and analysis of the critically endangered languages of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also studying these speech communities in their socio-cultural contexts.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister stressed on the timely preservation of the mother tongues of the State.

“Loss of language is the reason for cultural erosion,” he said.

The book launch event was among others attended by RGU vice chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha, pro vice chancellor Prof Amitava Mitva and registrar Prof Tomo Riba.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: