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Naga Heritage Village gets facelift for Hornbill Festival 2022

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Nov 21, 2022 11:59 pm
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Konyak morung at Kisama looks deserted and unattended on Monday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Nov. 21 (EMN): Preparations are underway at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, in view of the upcoming Hornbill Festival 2022, which is set to begin on December 1.

When Eastern Mirror visited Kisama on Monday, renovation, cleaning and construction works were in progress in and around the venue. A few morungs are ready for the 10-day event, while extensive renovations are on for some, and some still left unattended.

The addition of the Tikhir morung, which is under construction, has taken the total number of morungs at Kisama to 18. It may be mentioned that Tikhir was recognised as a separate Naga tribe in January this year.

However, if the eastern Nagaland tribes forego the Hornbill Festival as decided, Tikhirs will be denied their first-ever participation in the Hornbill Festival as a ‘separate’ tribe.

The ENPO had earlier stated the seven eastern Nagaland tribes comprising Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Sangtam, Tikhir and Yimkhiung would to abstain from participating in this year’s Hornbill Festival over the “hardships faced by participants” from the region every year. It added that the state government would be requested through the ENLU to promote mini Hornbill Festival of the respective tribes.

At the Tikhir morung, the construction work is still on when this newspaper visited the venue on Monday despite the work having starting on October 26. Due to the limited time, the workers are stationed at Kisama to complete the work before the festival begins. 

Workers seen at work for the entrance gate to the main arena at Kisama on Monday. (EM Images)

The Lotha morung, one of the few morungs that was shifted to a permanent structure last year, is now in the process of thatching the cemented roof.

Advisor for Tourism, Khehovi Yepthomi, had in a coordination meeting urged all the tribes to give a ‘traditional finish’ to the permanent structures.

Finance Secretary of Kohima Lotha Hoho, Tsanso Lotha, said that they sourced the materials (thatch and bamboo) from Peren district since it was not available in their area. He added that sourcing the raw materials is expensive. 

He also recalled the chief minister’s objection to their permanent structure last year, which is why they were compelled to thatch the roof. Besides that, they are also trying to cover ceilings with a ‘traditional touch’ so that it gives an ‘original look’.

He added that the work started on November 14 and they are expecting to complete it by this week.

This year, the department has given INR 1.5 lakh each to all the tribes for the maintenance of the morung.

As for Rengma morung, work started from scratch, from erecting up new posts and structures, iron posts, thatch roofing, weaving bamboo walls and carving wooden structures, to finishing.

The department-sponsored bio-toilet (temporary) is also being attached to the structures, which will be made available in all the morungs.

Convenor of Rengma Morung Construction Committee, Khinyi Woch, said that this time around, they are putting up iron posts as they don’t have time to put up a permanent structure. This way, it can save annual repairs to a great extent. He added that they had expanded the morung by two feet each in length and breadth.

It has been two weeks since they started the work and they will take another week to finish the morung, for which more workers are expected to join on Tuesday, he added.

Meanwhile, landowners (Kigwema and Phesama) of the venue were doing the renovation works, cleaning and clearing of pathways and surroundings, painting walls along the road etc.

Construction of gates, setting up of stages, cementing drainage and houses were also going on, among others, as on Monday. 

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Nov 21, 2022 11:59:23 pm