India Photo Gallery: Exploring the Northeast

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More than 60 percent of India's tea is grown in the state of Assam. Women, like these at the Assam Tea Garden Estate, pick the leaves to the height gauged by a wooden cross.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Majuli, in the middle of the Brahmaputra River, is the world's largest river island. Ferries are often the quickest way between places, and they come in all sizes. The ferries that navigate the Luit River crossing have no engine and rely completely on the ferry driver's muscle power as they pole their way across the short expanse.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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These musicians at the Shiri Shiri Uttar Kamalbari Satra on Manjli Island belong to a distinctive Assam Hindu sect that eschews the caste system and idol worship. Music and dance play a big part in worship.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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According to the Assamese solar calendar, the New Year falls on April 14 and coincides with the Bihu festival, which celebrates an abundant harvest and involves lots of energetic dancing. These young girls are giving an impromptu performance on the main road hoping for donations, which will help pay for their village's festivities.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Nagas were fierce warriors who for hundreds of years fought off intruders and beheaded their enemies. Today, most of the warrior spirit is exercised during festivals. These Koyank Nagas in the Nagaland village of Chenmoho have donned their warrior wear to celebrate the harvest at the Aoleang Monyu festival in early April.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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At Shanghah Chingnyu Village, the head man, or Ang, poses in front of his house. He is wearing a vest of traditional weaving and has colorful ear ornaments. The exterior wall of his house is adorned with animal skulls, a popular decoration in Nagaland.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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The older Apatani women in the Ziro Valley plateau in the state of Arunachal Pradesh have traditional facial tattoos and nose plugs. This practice originated because the women of this area were considered the most beautiful and defacing was a defense against being kidnapped by lusty Nishi invaders. Peace with the Nishi in the 1960s put an end to this practice.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Tradition collides with the 21st century on a narrow winding road at almost 6,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh. Though most houses in this Buddhist-dominated area are festooned merely with prayer flags, this rustic palm frond-roofed home also sports a satellite dish.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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To get to Tawang, home of the second largest Buddhist monastery, one must go over the Sela Pass. With a lofty altitude of 13,700 feet, snow can blanket the ground as early as October.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
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Tawang Gaden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery in the Arunachal Pradesh town of Tawang claims to be the second largest Buddhist monastery complex after Tibet's Potala Palace. Young monks, who live in white-washed stone dormitories, rush by the prayer-house on their way to class and morning prayers.  
Credit: Ellen Clark 
 
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