The Nah people is a small tribal group residing in the higher reaches, below the great Himalayan ranges in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Within the district, they are found in the villages within Taksing circle: Gumsing, Taying, Esnaya, Lingbing, Tongba, Yeja, Reding, Redi, Dadu villages. As of 2000, the tribal population stood at 1,500. However, in all official censuses the Nga are classified together with the Tagin, who are ethnically related to them.

They speak the Na language, a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family, in which the population's literacy rate is 30%. The Na language has an affinity with the Tagin language. They also use Hindi or English.[1]

The Nah were believed to have migrated South from the north in Tibet following racial persecution from the Tibetans, but later engaged in trade with the Tibetans after the Nishi served as a mediator between the two groups until recent times. However, relations with their neighbors were often unstable; for instance, the shift of preference of their northern Tibetan trading partners in a 1906 incident resulted in a massacre which claimed many lives from their tribal group.[2]

The Nah are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism but are also influenced by pre-Buddhist Shaman practices. Both Buddhist Lamas and traditional Shamans, known as Nyibu in the native tongue, are employed for religious occasions.[3]

Like most tribes living in higher elevations, they build permanent houses made of stone and cultivate the usable land. One can see villages with terraced fields growing maize, millet, barley, etc. They breed domestic animals including yaks and sheep, and their clothes are made of spun wool.[4]

The Nah are more closely related to the Tagin both ethnically and linguistically than to Tibetans, but they claim to be a separate group, like the Mra who live in Limeking. However, both tribes acknowledge that they share a common ancestry with the Tagin.[5]


  1. ^ "Na". Ethnologue. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  2. ^ Toni Huber (1999). The Cult of Pure Crystal Mountain: Popular Pilgrimage and Visionary Landscape in Southeast Tibet. Oxford University Press. pp. 166–8. ISBN 0-19-512007-8.
  3. ^ Dalvindar Singh Grewal (1997). Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh: Identity, Culture, and Languages. South Asia Publications. p. 197. ISBN 81-7433-019-4.
  4. ^ Rann Singh Mann (1996). Tribes of India: Ongoing Challenges. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. p. 401. ISBN 81-7533-007-4.
  5. ^ Rann Singh Mann (1996). Tribes of India: Ongoing Challenges. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 395–402. ISBN 81-7533-007-4.