Apparently the Idu-Mishmis migrated towards the south to present habitat from Tibet through Dibang and Lohit Valleys. Some of the prominent migration points from the Tibet indicated by the ancestors are –
(i) ANDIKU - the direction towards North-Pole Star,
(ii) ASE-ALE - the course of Lohit river and
(iii) INNI LON PON - the region where the first rays of the sun falls.
There are about seventy-six clans. Some clan counts their genology up-to about twenty-eight generations.
Idus believe that to have pregnancy is a great blessing of the Divine mother “INNI MASELO ZINU AYA” or Sun Goddess. After pregnancy is noticed, two cocks are tamed as sacrificial bird to offer their blood to beneficent and maleficent spirits at the time of birth ceremony for the welfare of newborn. During pregnancy the couple follow some taboos. They should not utter any abnormal outcries of birds and animals or imitate the activities of handicap persons, or kill snakes, or offer any kind of articles for burial in the grave, since the exercise of above activities is supposed to lead to deformation of the child at the time of delivery. Food and rice beer is stocked before three to two months ahead for consumption during taboo days. On delivery of the child, the father puts a bunch of shrubs at the entrance gate of the house and goes to jungle to collect the elephant grass-EPONTON and RONTHEPA- a creeper of thorn species. He places them over the entrance of the room for protection of evil spirit and for welfare of the child. A well versed in hymn and experienced priest is invited to perform A-TA-YE- a ritual ceremony. He propitiates the INNI MASELO and other beneficent and maleficent spirits of parent and grant-father and mother of the child and appeases them with the blood of sacred cock and water adulterated with rice beer. The members present on the occasion are entertained with food and drink and they abstain from doing hard work for one night. The name of child is decided within five days. Main taboo remains for six to nine days. The parent including members of the house should not do any hard work like cutting with axe, digging of earth, killing of wild animals, touching of poison or irritating objects. Purification of taboo called ANGI ATHON NU is held again one day within the period in between six to nine days with the help of priest. Ritual ceremony is performed as that of A-TA–YE. On this day food and drink are prepared on large scale for entertaining the invitees.
Modern education had a late start among the Idu Mishmis as they didn’t have early contact with the British colonizers. But educational institutions and literacy have multiplied rapidly since independence.
Idus are expert in handicraft and weaving. The man makes basketry items out of cane, bamboo for household. The women weaves cloth with different design on both ETONWE (coat) & THUNWE
(shirt). Many Idus purchase tractors and other machinery equipments for cultivation of cash crops like ginger, mustard seed and other cultivation of fruits (orange, pineapple, pears etc.), tea and paddy etc.
Many literate men and women have joined government jobs, while others also undertake contract/supply works in various departments for earning their livelihood.
To die at the old age is treated as normal death but if it is accidental or premature, past acts of the deceased are supposed to have indirect effect. When a person is dead the entire village undergoes taboo for five days. During period of taboo, one does not undertake any new construction work, agricultural activities, fishing, hunting and weaving. The location or house where dead body is kept said to have been origin of taboo, so one can go there but before coming out of house or premises of taboo one must attend the purification ritual of the priest to continue normal life. They bury their dead body along-with all movable articles. One day before of burying the dead body a well-versed and experienced priest is called to perform ritual ceremony for negotiating with the departed soul! The ritual ceremony is performed according to capability of deceased family members. If there is no custodian of the dead body, purification ritual is held for only two to three hours. The ritual ceremony of BRONCA is held for two days and AYA for four days, which involves a huge expenditure in cash and kind. The kith and kin contribute for burial ceremony. All the movable articles, irrespective of their cost/price, which belonged to or were liked by the deceased, are buried. Hence the burial is quite akin to the old Egyptian Pyramid traditions, except that burial among the Idus requires digging of sufficient rooms
for the deceased and his articles.