Nyishi Old Testament (First time)

The Nyishi or Nishi people, principally inhabit the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. They are also called "Nyashang", meaning 'people of the land or the human being', by people belonging to Kurung Kurung district. They inhabit the Papum Pare, East KamengLower Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, parts of Upper Subansiri districts of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the Sonitpur District and North Lakhimpur district of Assam.

Their population of around 300,000 makes them the most populous tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, closely followed by the combined tribes of the Adis and the Galos (Abors) who were the most populous in the 2001 census. The Nyishi language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family, however, the origin is disputed. They trace their descent patrilineally and are divided into several clans. Literacy rate is around 48%.

Traditionally, Nyishi plait their hair and tie it neatly at the forehead with Tibetan thread. A brass skewer passes horizontally through the tied hair. Cane rings were worn around the waist, arms and legs. Men wore a cane helmet surmounted with the beak of the Great Indian Hornbill. The usage of actual Hornbill beaks is discouraged these days due to tough wildlife protection laws since The Great Indian Hornbill is a protected species and generally due to growing awareness among the people as well. It is being supplemented by beaks made of cane or other materials and the entire headgear/cane helmet itself is readily available in the market for purchase.

A Traditional Dance


Additional decorations varied depending upon the status of person and were symbols of manly valour. The Nyishi women generally wear a sleeveless mantle of striped or plain cloth, its upper part tucked tightly over the breast and enveloping the body from the armpits to the centre of the calves. A ribbon is tied at the waist. A girdle consisting of metal disks and cane garters is worn at the waist. Their hair is parted in the middle, plaited and tied into a chignon just above the nape. Their ornaments include multicolored bead necklaces, brass chains, metal bells, huge brass or silver earrings and heavy bracelets of various metals.


The clothing of the men consists of sleeveless shirts made from thick cotton cloth, striped gaily with blue and red together with a mantle of cotton or wool fastened around the throat and shoulders. Strings made of beads in varying sizes and colours were also worn, mainly for decoration purposes. They used to carry a dao (uriuk, chiighee in Nyishi) (short sword) and a knife (Ryukchak) in a bamboo sheath. Their armament consists of spear with iron-head, a large sword, and a bow with arrows, tipped with poison (umiyu) on it. During war both the chest and back are covered with the sabbe buffalo hide, and over it they wear a black cloak made of indigenous fibre.

Project Status:

New Testament was released in November 2002.
Drafted: Genesis-Malachi
Checked: Psalms 1-100. Further checking is in steady progress.
Translator(s): Rev. Tar Choya
Project Launched at the request of Nyishi Baptist Church Council
Translations begun/end: 2008/2016


A village in Nyshi area:    

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