From Headhunters Den = When we were planning to visit Mon, Nagaland during Aoling Monyu, the most colorful festival of Konyak Naga tribes,we hadn’t had that much of information about the region. But the colorful images of Aoling,which are mostly available in internet,prompted us to visit the area. It’s a long and strenuous journey to Mon from Kolkata.’Sonari’ is the entry point to Nagaland from Assam. The distance from Sonari to Mon is some 80 odd kilometers Road condition was not quite good But the untamed beauty of Mon and surrounding villages and cultural outburst of Aoling has really hypnotized us.
Aoling Monyu= Konyak Naga tribe living in Nagaland, is considered to be one of the fiercest tribes of the world. In the primitive age , they were at constant fight with each other . One who had the maximum skulls of his enemies was regarded as the most powerful. Konyaks used to be the headhunters before the independence of India. Since then they embraced Christianity and the light of education has gradually brought a change in their life style. It is only at the time of Aoling Monyu, the most important festival of Konyaks,observed during the first week of April every year., they make a conscious effort to rediscover the aura of the bygone era.During the festival Konyaks wear colorful shawls and headgear decorated with hornbill feathers. They have Tattoos on their face. When we look at them with traditional dresses, earing made of bore horn, wood and shell hair plank, performing rhythmically the tribal dances carrying daos( matchets), guns and spears, we have just a fleeting glimpse of the primal energy of the tribal people chained by the civilization. April 4th,5th ,6th are the most important dates for Aoling and it’s been observed in every villages around Mon,the district headquater. Grandeur and Gathering at Mon is big enough as it is organised by the tourism department.But our experience at Shangnyu village is raw and intense , more original in nature. So I must recommend you to visit the surrounding villages along with Mon.
Hope against hope=We are grateful to grand old Konyak lady, Mon aunty. Her hospitality and kind gesture has given us a scope to spend a memorable five days amongst the Konyak Naga community.In the past, as a tourists destination, the success of Nagaland was very limited because the tourism dept was not quite interested to promote tourism due to political unrest . But now the situation has changed . More and more people, specially foreigners are visiting these areas to explore the cultural landscape of tribal life. So Nagaland has become the new destination of tribal tourism in India.