Tourism and Community Development : From Headhunters Den

Mon, Nagaland

Mon, Nagaland

01. Battle with Festive Mood By Barun kr Datta-1

Battle with Festive Mood

IMG_7659

Playing mood,Longwa village, Burma Border

Longwa village, Burma Border

Landscape around Mon.

Landscape around Mon.

IMG_7788

Community Hall, Shangnyu village

One who leads must have a special dress

One who leads must have a special dress

Tribals with tattooed face, traditional headgear and arms.

Tribals with tattooed face, traditional headgear and arms.

Even women do not lag behind.

Even women do not lag behind.

Enjoying a lighter moment .

Enjoying a lighter moment .

Ready for a fight.

Ready for a fight.

IMG_8212

Dressed for the occasion

Dressed for the occasion

IMG_8306 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.

Kumari Puja – The Worship of a Girl Child

Kumari Puja ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImagethe worship of a girl child between 5 to 12-is a unique practice observed at the time of  Durga Puja in Eastern India. kumari means an unmarried girl. Kumari is not only dressed but  also painted as goddess. She is worshipped  by the senior members of the family and the locality .Starting from the priest to the oldest member of the family, everybody treats  the child as  goddess. We witness  the subversion of the social hierarchy when the senior members touch her feet and the girl child acting as goddess offers blessings to the elderly people .She is made to look and act as a divine being. Kumari is looked upon as a virgin-a fountain-head of creation. She creates, nurtures and nourishes this universe thwarting the challenges emanating from the forces of Evil. Thus the kumari becomes an embodiment of universal motherhood. As the priest observes the rituals and  chants mantras , the homely girl  child of the family  epitomizes divinity.  Those who assemble to watch this puja stand in awe. But this spell of divinity does not last long. As the rituals come to an end  and the chanting of mantra dies out, the familiar girl child wakes up to the world of reality.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.