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Day 13: Hornbill Festival

The best way to enjoy something is to be present and immersed doing it as much as you can.

We left our homestay at 930am, for the festival area which is just a 10-15 min walk up a hill. We got there in time for the festival....the tribes had gotten together and the ceremony began....17 tribes then went on to perform one after the other over 3+ hours (with a break in the middle).

The whole experience was so beautiful...the performances varied from war, agriculture, prayer to even headhunting. All the while wearing some spectacular colours and some fab music that they sang.

The shops are best avoided as the prices were more suited for foreigners. The major highlight of the whole place is the Morungs.

So what are these Morungs?

  • The Morungs used to be community spaces where young boys got together in the villages of Nagaland.

  • Based on their age, batches of boys from the tribe would be recruited into the Morung.

  • Here they would be taught the history and culture of the tribe and their village. This was when they learnt folk songs and dances.

  • Folk tales and legends were also passed on to the next generation.It was in these Morungs that young boys became worthy Naga warriors.

  • They learnt war techniques and practised these with their fellow Morung batchmates.

  • While learning to be warriors, here in the Morungs they also had to take care of the elders.

  • The Morungs had their own rules and any violations would be taken seriously. Punishment would be severe.

“Make a worthy citizen of the village” is the true purpose of the Morung in the Naga villages.

Each tribe has its own Morung ...where they showcase their huts, their icons and importantly have food and rice beers. We visited each one and interacted with the experience that is an absolute must. Visiting hornbill festival has been something that I have always wanted grateful for the experience.

Tomorrow we head home to Chennai.

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