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Crafting of Ornaments and Its Accessories in Folk-Tales and Folk-Songs Among the Nagas


· Iris Odyuo Nagaland University (Tuensang, India)


07/29 | 10:00-10:20 UTC+2/CEST


Nagas are an indigenous people, with their homeland stretching along the north eastern states of Indian States of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and north western Myanmar (Burma). Every aspect of Naga life is interconnected with nature and its rituals, ceremonies and festivals. Nagas have an intimate relationship with nature in their social, cultural, religion, beliefs and practices and this find expression in their arts.Much of Naga art consist of perishable material and in the past, the constant threat from enemy attack, the fear of disastrous fires and the rituals and taboos surrounding certain art, prevented the artists from devoting much of their time to produce lasting art forms but the arts flourished. The Nagas conversion to Christianity resulted in the gradual dissociation from some Naga tribal institutions such as headhunting, the morung (men’s ceremonial house) and feasts of merit which inspired many artistic expressions in woodwork, intricate textile designs, body tattoo, songs, dances, decorative ornaments and weapons, symbolizing personal achievements and valour. Folk-tales and folk-songs are the unwritten lives and wisdom of the Nagas. Every Naga tribe has its unique varieties of oral stories and songs through which they imparted accumulated knowledge from one generation to the next. This paper is an attempt to describe how the crafting of ornaments and its accessories are reflected in their folk-tales and folk-songs. Found with slight variations throughout the Naga areas, ornaments was the most prized item socially, economically, politically and ritually.
Keywords: Nagas, Nature, Folk-tales, Folk-songs, Ornaments, Wisdom and Identity