Stone-pulling ceremony held to commemorate 142-year-old Anglo-Naga peace treaty
Kohima, Dec. 6 (EMN): Men dressed in traditional attires took part in the solemn traditional stone-pulling ceremony to mark the traditional 142-year-old peace treaty between Anglo-Naga at Mezoma village on Tuesday.
Attending the occasion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, thanked Almighty for giving an auspicious day to hold a significant event of the traditional stone-pulling ceremony for future generations to remember.
He acknowledged the village council and all concerned of Mezoma for preserving and protecting the custom, identity, motives and desire of the people at a time when the state government is promoting the culture and tradition by organising the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland.
He shared how different tribes of the state converge together at Hornbill Festival to display their respective tribal and cultural heritage.
Emphasising the significant meaning about the historic stone-pulling festival, he recounted how the British waged war against the locals in different Angami villages with Khonoma being the last village to continue the hostilities with the intruders.
However, Rio reminded that the war had ended now, while underscoring the need to promote peace as they have placed a stone to treasure the age-old traditional friendship of the elders.
He further described Mezoma as an “equally historical village” for taking the initiative in organising an auspicious event for youngsters to remember, while reminding the stand of the Nagas, who are now at peace with the British.
He therefore asked Nagas to uphold good examples from one another and live as one family while promoting peace and harmony with all.
Unlike the past, Rio reiterated the need to spread peace and keep one’s identity, tradition, custom and culture alive as Nagas have become one under a government with all the people embracing Christianity.
He highlighted how the British had acknowledged the unique culture of the Nagas through Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, because of which the ancestral land is protected till today.
As such, he reminded that the unique culture and traditions are manifested through the festivities.
He reminded that visitors and tourists have been coming to Nagaland to experience the unique culture being showcased by the people and not because they are imitating anyone else.
During the occasion, a booklet entitled “Anglo- Naga Vitho (peace treaty) 27th March, 1880” written by Neivikuolie Khatsü and Thejalhoukho Casavi, and published by Mezomia Mechü Kehou, was also released and distributed to the visitors.
Naga wrestling demonstration by young boys, and village walk with participants clad in their majestic headgears and traditional attires marked the occasion.
Earlier, Rüülhoukho Khawakhrie, catechist, Catholic Church, Mezoma invoked God’s blessings while Rovigwelhou Chüsi, GB, administered the traditional blessing during the traditional stone-pulling.
It was apprised that the stone which is about four feet in breadth and 14 in length was pulled by 300 strong men to an approximate distance of 700-800m and placed it at Phehinu in the village.