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Christa Neuenhofer | profile | all galleries >> The Zeme Nagas in the North Cachar Hills in Assam, India tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Zeme Nagas in the North Cachar Hills in Assam, India

In March 2008 we did not only visit Meghalaya but also had the chance of going to the North Cachar Hills District (N.C. Hills) in Assam. As there are quite often terror attacks by underground groups (e.g. Black Widow) and as there have also been ethnic clashes between some tribes, it was not clear, if we could go there at all. But we were lucky. At least at the moment everything seemed to be quiet.
Starting from Haflong, we visited three Zeme Naga villages. First we went to Boro Haflong, a village quite close to Haflong. We met friendly people, saw a nice morung (boys´ dormitory), but on the whole the people were already rather “westernized”. Our local guide, who came from a remote village, told us that in his place everything would still be much more traditional. So we drove some 80 kilometers to get to Laisong and Hejaichak, where our local guide came from. Both villages have still not yet been connected to electricity and because of this there are neither TVs nor DVDs, and thus no Bollywood films. The people still live in a very traditional way. We were lucky just to arrive at a big festival. Before sowing new seeds the people celebrate for three days. In and in front of the morung the youth and even the small children danced all night, dressed in traditional clothes and were accompanied by drums and other traditional instruments. Elderly people sat and watched the dancers and everyone had quite some cups of rice beer. Even the next morning nobody went to sleep, but preparations for the next night started (e.g. picking flowers in the jungle for the “flower-dance” the next night).
There was one further quite interesting thing in all three villages. There were memory stones for men who had had lots of mistresses. In Hejaichak there were even 100 small stones next to the memory stone. Each small stone stood for one girl the man had loved. Our guide spoke with some admiration of those commemorated.

You can find an in-depth coverage of our tour in German with further details and pictures at: http://www.neuenhofer.de/guenter/
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme musician, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme musician, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme musician, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme musician, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancers, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancers, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancers, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme dancers, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
just a short break
just a short break
Zeme children, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Zeme children, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
also the youngest take part
also the youngest take part
after a sleepless night, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
after a sleepless night, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
the morung in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
the morung in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
old Zeme Naga, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
old Zeme Naga, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
old Zeme Naga with grandchild
old Zeme Naga with grandchild
old Zeme Naga
old Zeme Naga
memory stone for a great lover in Laisong
memory stone for a great lover in Laisong
memory stone, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
memory stone, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
grave in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
grave in Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
paddy fields near Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
paddy fields near Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
paddy fields near Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
paddy fields near Laisong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Morung in Hejaichak, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
Morung in Hejaichak, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
our guide´s mother in Hejaichak
our guide´s mother in Hejaichak
our guide is offered some rice beer
our guide is offered some rice beer
the well in Hejaichak, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
the well in Hejaichak, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
grave in Hejaichak
grave in Hejaichak
morung in Boro Haflong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
morung in Boro Haflong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
morung in Boro Haflong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
morung in Boro Haflong, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India
memory stone for a great lover in Boro Haflong
memory stone for a great lover in Boro Haflong