“The Dangerous Mirror”: Adi Perspectives on Nature


Claire Stacy Scheid (Independent)

The Adi of Northeast India follow the Indigenous religion Donyipolo (Sun-Moon). Interaction with nature and the non-human is central to Adi ontology. This strong connection is woven into Abangs, oral narratives that trace the origins of places, beings, and practices, and is apparent in folk tales, which chronicle humans, animals, and (supernatural) entities as their experiences negotiate the order of the world. However, even nature is understood to have a “non-natural” parallel (“congruent geography”). This paper, based on fieldwork conducted 2013-2018, explores the delicate balance between the Adi and the natural life beside them, a “dangerous mirror” of their own environment.

Part of 32-02 Multi-Species Relationships from the Margins: Case Studies from North and Northeast India, Wednesday, October 20, 11:15 am–12:45 pm