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Arunachal’s Monpa musician sings his way to people’s hearts

A Monpa musician playing a melodious number on his Dramyin, a traditional instrument

A video showing a musician playing a instrument called dramyin and singing a traditional Monpa song was shared by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has gone viral.


The musician who is from the Monpa Institute of Performing Arts is seen standing in Bongleng village of Tawang district which is close to Bhutan border.

Considered as a major tribe, the Monpa of Arunachal Pradesh are believed to be the only nomadic tribe in Northeast India and have a close affinity with the Sharchops of Bhutan.

Interestingly, the Chief Minister is a Monpa himself. Other well-known Monpas include Ngawang Tashi Bapu who was nominated for the Grammy in 2006 in the Traditional World Music category.

Dramyin, the popular string instrument played by the artist is a traditional Himalayan folk music lute with six strings. It is used by the Drukpa Buddhist culture and society in Bhutan, and also in Tibet, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalayan West Bengal.

The Monpa community’s traditional three-day festival Torgya – welcoming a healthy and prosperous New Year – was recently concluded in the State.