KARBI ANGLONG, India – In many parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but in northeast India this month marks the end of the hunting season for young men of the Tiwa tribe in northeast India.
On Wednesday, a small group of men – armed with homemade rifles – went into the forests of this mountainous, remote part of Assam state in search of animals to hunt, an epa journalist reported.
Two men – Kanta and Nene, both in their 20s – later emerged carrying on their shoulders a long pole to which was strung the body of a serow, a large animal resembling a cross between a goat and an antelope, and which is illegal to hunt under Indian law.
They killed the serow with homemade rifles, a common hunting weapon used in the villages of northeast India as many people can’t afford more modern firearms and gun licenses are difficult to obtain.
The Tiwa try to make the most of the January-April hunting season, as some days they come back from the armed hunt empty-handed, and so sometimes lay out traps in the hills to improve their chances.
The serow would later be butchered and eaten by members of Kanta and Nene’s village, with consumption being the main reason the Tiwa and other neighboring tribes hunt animals.
The two men told epa that the serow meat is soft and tastes like buffalo.
Though the people in this area sometimes face pressure from the authorities to stop or curb their long-standing hunting traditions, the remoteness of Karbi Anglong makes it hard to enforce such restrictions.
Assam state, lying between Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar, is ethnically and culturally diverse, with Karbi Anglong district itself being home to several languages and indigenous peoples.