Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nagaland


I recently completed a textile research project in Nagaland for NID for which I spent 2 months travelling in the hills. It was a fruitful experience and contrary to the skepticism with which we left, the memories we created were amazing. A humble attempt to capture some of my experiences there...


Nestled in the hills, a culture so alien to ours,
Killing was a matter of honour,
Merry making - a celebration of life,
Language differentiated tribes.
The head hunting days have long gone
And bells have replaced the drums
But the echoes, they can still be heard.
The slaughtering of animals,
The firings of guns,
The eerie silence after sunset,
Gathering around the kitchen hearth,
Rejoice or lament?
Their laughter is full of life,
A sense of satisfaction is underneath the strife,
They are rich with the bounty of the earth.
Silver and gold hold no meaning for them,
Colourful beads laced with meaning galore,
The smiles of children, we do adore!

In the long winding journeys we took
Often on roads, not there
The attitude of people, is what was rare
Their spirit of the women, I do salute.
Many stories were told, re-told
songs were sung and prayers offered
Moist eyes said farewell in every tribe we covered.
From the surreal border village to the terraced fields,
We have probably seen more of the place
Than the people there themselves.