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Badu – Lament of a fleeting soul’

NeW Bureau

‘The Buddy Vibes’ from Arunachal Pradesh has a team member of 5 individuals. Toni Perme( Director/ Director of Photography/ Editor) Priya Badu(Scriptwriter), Tage Yadi (Assistant Editor/ Assistant Director of Photography), Taba Yater ( Assistant Director), and Makaamso Tayang ( Assistant Director of Photography) . All the members are students of Mass Communication and Journalism,

Badu – Lament of a fleeting soul’ has been their first work.

17The content of the Badu and its importance-
We made the short film ‘ Badu- Lament of a fleeting soul’ for the film festival ‘Borderland Narratives’ that was held for the first time at Rajiv Gandhi University from 23-25 March, 2019. The theme for the film festival was ‘Vanishing Roots’.
We chose to make a film on Badu which we found to be a suitable topic for the theme. Badu or Gadu as commonly known has been a part of the Adi culture and community. Badu is a cotton cloth which the Adi people have been using as a blanket or as shawl. The Adi people earlier times used Badu in their day to day life. The most important significance of Badu in the Adi community is during the death ritual. Badu is given as a parting gift to the dead person. When an individual from the Adi community dies, his/her loved ones or relatives gift Badu as the last farewell gift. Even his/ her body is wrapped in Badu when laid to rest. The Badu accompanies the dead person to his/her grave.
In the poetic documentary ‘ Badu – Lament of a fleeting soul’ the Badu who is the narrator laments over the fact that it is slowing becoming a fleeting memory. It is slowly fading away from its roots. The reason behind Badu’s lamentation is the loss of the art of Badu weaving. The process of the art of Badu weaving is slowly dying away. At this age of modernism, people have been accoustomed to easy life that they prefer giving blankets from the markets over Badu or they simply purchase Badu from someone. The art of Badu weaving is not being passed on. The Adi People who reside in towns have either forgotten to weave Badu or does not know the process of making Badu and very few people in the villages are left who make Badu. The younger generation in the community are not aware of what a Badu is; let alone the art of Badu weaving. The poem through the character Badu implores of the people especially the younger generation to remember the art of Badu weaving as it is what makes them unique and different from other tribes and keeps their roots and legacy alive. The loss of the art of Badu weaving is losing a small part of identity of the Adi culture.

Which tribe uses this tradition-?
The art of Badu weaving is significant in the Adi community at Arunachal Pradesh. The Adi people use Badu as blanket or shawl to cover their bodies. Its importance is exhibited during the Adi dead ritual ceremony. The dead body of a person is covered with Badu when he/she are buried. The close ones, relatives and friends gift Badu to the dead man. The Badu symbolises as a last parting gift from the loved ones to the dead person. When the person is buried the Badu accompanies the body to the grave along with his/ her other belongings.

Its significant and impacting the tribe-
Our tradition and culture is what defines us. Culture gives us an identity of our own. For the Adis, Badu gives them this sense of uniqueness of identity. What stands out in the Adi funeral rites is the practice of gifting Badu to the dead. It is noteworthy to say that without the art of Badu weaving the practice of gifting Badu would have been long dead. But the practice of gifting Badu might be gone in the near future if the Adi people forget the process of weaving it. The reason that this practice is still existent is due to the few people who carry on making Badu. The women in the villages make Badu and keep them for gifting people as well as for funeral purposes. The simpler message behind the film is that people and communities should make effort in keeping alive ones culture and tradition for it is what makes each tribe unique. You want to keep alive your culture, you practice it. Arunachal Pradesh have witnessed to its loss of its art, its rituals and its languages. Sadly the art of Badu weaving too will disappear if the maiden’s hands stops weaving it.

Poem – Badu -Lament of a fleeting soul’.

When a person dies, all that he leaves behind, are memories.
I believe, I am becoming just that.
Just a thought, nobody to behold.
I might stay alive, in the thoughts of the old,
but, will I be a future to behold?
I do not know , never did.
Uncertainties buzz round me,
I knew my beginning, but the end,
belongs to the hands, that will mould me.
To be or not to be, is not my reach.
for I be , where the hands weave,
and the skin covers.
Bygone days were most cherished,
when I was , the daily wish.
Coming days are essence,
when I lay with the dead.
Like dust and bones, that remain of mortals,
will I too, pass away, worn and hidden?
Can you ? O seed of mortal-
provide me a help.
Yours oh legacy that you boast,
write me down , so your child , remembers me too.
Legacy to heard , legacy to be told,
in that corner of your stories
will I be your host?

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