A tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh has made it mandatory for married women to wear a necklace similar to the mangal sutra so that people can come to know about their marital status.
Aab Tebw and Ato Lappa clans of Nyishi tribal community decided at a convention in February that for solemnising a marriage, gifting of 'Jenjap' by the groom to the bride was a must.
"At the convention we decided not to give our daughters in marriage unless the bridegroom agrees to give Jenjap to his bride. The In-laws will also not recognise the bride unless she agrees to wear it," Taba Hare, president of the Aab Tebw and Ato Lappa Welfare Society said.
The move, some believe, is to check incidents of polyandry, which is barred in the community.
Replying to a question, Hare said if a man had more than one wife, as is the common practice in tribal societies, he should present Jenjap to each of his wives because it would tell the community they were married.
Hare, however, disagreed that they were introducing any new practice in the tribal community by imitating the practice of the people in the plains and insisted that they were only reviving their ancient tradition.
"We had the tradition of giving expensive necklaces by mothers-in-law to newly-wed brides. But those traditions have been discontinued or forgotten," said Hare.
"We are reintroducing them with some modification in the design of the necklace on the line of mangal sutras. The traditional necklaces are too expensive."
The population of the two clans is estimated to be around 20,000 spread over areas along Siang, Subansiri and Kameng rivers and parts of Assam.