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Codifying folklores

Naga folklores are very rich and it throws light into many aspects of their life.

Published On: 03-May-2019 02:10am
Updated On: 03-May-2019 12:40pm
Author: V. Mohanan
Article Section: Arts, Culture, Literature

Naga folklores are very rich and it throws light into many aspects of their life. Do you know why Nagas belonging to the same generic ethnicity though speak in different tongues or dialects, some in soft tones while others in heavy and rough ways? An ancient Naga folklore says that once they all have the same language but one day as the male members who were carrying the tree of music (read language) started quarrelling with each other. In their rage, they cut the tree in several pieces and each one of them decamped with a piece of the tree. Thus those who got the top portion of the tree, with tender leaves and branches, started speaking in softer tones (read Aos) while those who got the bottom part in heavy tones (Angmis). And why they don't have a script? There is another interesting folklore. The script was made in an animal skin and one night while the man carrying the script fell asleep, a dog ate away the script. Since then the Nagas lost their script and they keep on killing the dogs in search of the script. Interestingly, these folklores handed down from generation to generation are now lost in the time wrap and young generation hardly are aware of these. We are mentioning this here because the people of Arunachal Pradesh too have a rich folklore but not in vogue now. No attempt has been made to collect and codify these folklores which explain the life and times of the ancient tribes since these are closely linked to the day to-day and mundane activities of the folk.

That way the  three-day long maiden Arunachal Literature Festival held in Itanagar, that capital of Arunachal Pradesh last year, participated by 54 eminent writers, poets, authors and publishers from foreign, inland and budding writers from Arunachal was a new beginning to promote regional literature and greater platforms for emerging local poets and writers. While, there is an attempt to revive the ancient culture and traditions of different tribal groups which are on the verge of extinction, the three-day was a beginning to find a common ground among distinct cultures and traditions as well as to codify whatever folklores are existing among the different ethnic groups. In any ancient society folklores are like cave paintings which showcase the events and realities existed in a bygone era for posterity. Thus it is imperative that those concerned about our great traditions and preserve the culture also give emphasis on collecting and codifying the ancient folklores.


Keywords

folklores literature festival northeast folklores ethnic groups northeast culture northeast tradition