Monday, 16 December 2013

Seven Sisters..........the Fourth Sister

The Fourth Sister-- Nagaland

*     Nagaland is largely a mountainous state. The Hills rise from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam to about 2,000 feet and rise further to the southeast, as high as 6,000 feet. Mount Saramati, 12,601 feet is the highest peak, where the Naga Hills merge with the Patkai Range in Burma. Nagaland is rich in flora and fauna. It has largely a monsoon climate with high humidity . By and large, the state enjoys a salubrious climate. Summer is the shortest season and lasts for only a few months.

*      The Dzukou Valley, tucked away at 2,438 m above sea level and behind the Japfu Range, is Nagaland's very own Valley of Flowers.  Dzükou derives its meaning from the Angami/Mao word which means "Cold Water" referring to the ice cold stream that flows through the valley.  During the monsoon, the valley turns into a riot of colours. Untainted by tourists, it has retained its pristine beauty. It's one of the three most beautiful valleys in India.

*     Nagaland is the land of  16 tribes, Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Dimasa Kachari, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchunger, Kuki and Zeliang. Every tribe has its own unique dialect but do not have any script of their own. Tribal traditions and loyalties play an important part in the life of Nagas. Weaving is a traditional art handed down through generations. Each tribe has its own unique designs and colour, producing shawl, shoulder bags, decorative spears, table mats, wood carvings, and bamboo works. Among many tribes the design of the shawl denotes the social status of the wearer.

*     Folk songs and dances are essential ingredients of the Naga culture. The oral tradition is kept alive through folk tales and songs. Naga folks songs are both romantic and historical, and these narrate the stories of famous ancestors and incidents. 

*     The Hornbill Festival named after the Hornbill, takes place between 1 and 7 December every year. It is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions. The week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland.

*      The state has been the inspiration for several of my short stories ('Quest' is in the blog), though I'm yet to explore it fully. Hopefully someday I would and who knows the place might inspire me to pen down a novel........

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