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Wancho Culture Documentation

Language Wancho (ISO639-3:nnp)
Depositor Banwang Losu
Affiliation La Trobe university, Australia
Location India
Collection ID 0655
Grant ID
Funding Body
Collection Status Collection forthcoming
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

This deposit comprises of Wancho language varieties which are divided into Tang jen (where jen is a clan) in upper Wancho and sang jen in lower Wancho. Within these two major groups, there are twelve sub-groups divided as per genealogical clans, which possess slight variations of tones and wordings. All these are included here in the form of songs and stories. The materials were collected from 2017 till today, out of that only a small part is deposited here and the rest are coming soon.


Group represented

The group represented in this deposit are Wanchos, who are residing in foothills of Patkai range in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, India, sharing an international border with Myanmar, states with Assam and Nagaland and District with Tirap. There are around 67 villages in Longding District with a population of around 56000 as per India’s census 2011. Wancho belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family, having two major clans namely “Tang in upper and Sang in lower”. Within these two groups, there are 12 subgroups divided as per genealogical relationship, they have Slight variations of languages but they are intelligible among themselves. This project is focusing on the endangered items which require urgent documentation before extinction.


Collection contents

This deposit contains around 79.64 minutes of audio recordings and 94.82 minutes of audio-visual recordings as an initial input of Wancho varieties that are in WAV format and MP4 format. The data comprises folktales, folksongs, short stories, etc. Five pages of text which are translated into English, IPA transcription, and  Wancho script are deposited.


Special Characteristics

This collection is the joint effort of my team namely; Mr. Abo Arangham, Mr. Nokchak Apesam, Mr. Jatwang Wangsa, and myself, Mr. Banwang Losu. All the collected Data are natural events, no re-creation has been made, the unique data we have collected here are ‘ceremony of child-birth-ritual’, Blow of Buffalo’s horn, folksongs and migration story, etc.’.


Collection history

I have been working on the development of Wancho script and language of Longding district, Arunachal Pradesh, India, since 2001, but the collection of data was started in the year 2017. The collected data was of folksongs, folktales, short stories, etc. video editing software is a simple one, transcriptions and translations are done with ELAN software. I haven’t archived the collected data anywhere so far.


Acknowledgement and citation

My gratitude goes to the elders of the Wancho community who provided valuable pieces of endangered data of ancient history, songs, tales, dance, etc. I also thank the informants, translators, singers, of different villages for their immense help and hospitality during the field trips and my team who work hard to restore the lost culture of the Wancho in the form of audio, audio-visual, and written format to preserve and promote it for the next generations.

Users of any part of this collection should acknowledge Banwang Losu as the principal investigator/depositor, and the respective informants as contributors with the names given in their recording details in metadata format.

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Banwang, Losu. Forthcoming. Culture and Linguistics Documentation of the Wancho language of Arunachal Pradesh. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].


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